“Consider it pure joy, by brothers, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” James 1:2
Help for the Hero
One thing I have loved about homeschooling over the last several years is helping to teach various middle and high school literature classes at the co-op where my kids attend one day a week. My own father taught high school and college literature for over forty years, so it’s not only in my blood, but it also affords me a two-hour break from my sweet but small ones. Seeing glimpses of the fruits of other homeschool parents’ labors in the older children I teach also gives me something to look forward to when own my children begin advancing.
This month in class, we studied the Holocaust, and we used this week’s Bible verse to find encouragement for ourselves when we are struggling. Ironically, I was put to the test a few days after we committed the verse to memory, by coming down with the stomach flu while seven months pregnant. My six-year old came down with a fever and sore throat the same night, my four-year old got the flu like me, and my husband got bronchitis. This hero and her family were down for the count!
As I struggled to even move, let alone to pray and to think critically, the verse popped into my mind a few times and I was able to remember that God was growing me in even that yucky trial. He was growing my patience, my perseverance, and my trust in Him by letting Him show me He is more than capable of taking care of my family when I am unable. And you know what, He was. I hope you too can remember this verse and other biblical promises when something causes you to struggle, or when a crisis comes your way. How wonderful to know that even in struggles, God promises growth. We overachievers can smile with true joy and peace, knowing that even when we are down, there is yet work to be done in us. Try to memorize or write down this verse on trials so you can have it in your mind when the need arises. Hiding God’s Word in our heart is always a good thing (Psalm 119:11)!
Kids Can Too!!
This week, there will inevitably come a time when your child experiences a stress, even if it is as small as a stubbed toe (those can really hurt!) or a fight with a sibling or friend. If and when it happens, teach your child the simple lesson above as you care for them. Remind them that God grows us strong in the tough moments. If your child is sick, give them extra nurturing, an extra special project to do while they recover, or a treat. Let them know that God gives them extra attention when they are sick also, and will not expect them to “get everything done” if they are truly under the weather. Let them know that God likes to show off and dazzle us, because when we are weak, then He is strong (2nd Cor 12:9). If your children are small but brave through a trial, you can even give them a sticker or ribbon as a reminder of how you noticed their bravery in a tough moment.
Your husband experiences trials too, and faithfully loving him through the trials he encounters will speak the loudest spousal sympathy. Does he enjoy pure quiet? If so, try to round up the troops and get them outside or on an errand with you for a couple of hours. Would he find cheer in his mothers’ famous recipe for lasagna? If so, gather ingredients and make it. If he most longs for physical touch, quality time with you, or encouraging words, offer him an extra measure this week. In other words, if he’s having a bad day, week, or month, try to be a brave comrade, someone who takes real action. Job’s friends in the Bible were in the wrong when they spoke accusations against their hurting friend, but one thing they did right was to sit in the silence with him during his sorrow (Job 2:13). Be a supportive wife as your husband encounters various trials. Don’t try to solve things, unless your hubby asks for your help. Instead, love him a little extra during that time. You will bless him, and be blessed by it ultimately too, for he who gets refreshed, refreshes others (Proverbs 11:25).
Thank You for the many days of blessing and goodness in my life. May this week be one of the best yet. However, should I struggle, may You take my hand and grow me through the trial. May You bring healing and restoration to my family where it is needed. I love you, and put my hope, faith, and trust in Your caring Hands. In Jesus Name, Amen.