Many of us have that one child or know of someone who has that one child, who really gives them a run for their money. Many times it's the first born and many times it's the child who has the potential to become an incredible leader. This is the child that when told to hold a quarter to the wall with their nose for a minute for timeout, drops the quarter "accidentally" while wiping snot all over your bedroom wall. They then proceed to tell you that you are going to have to wipe all of it up. This is also the child that insists that you don't know anything about doing homework even though you were a classroom teacher for ten years. They are not only sassy, they are smart and sassy. The hardest kind. But despite all of this, they are the ones that your heart aches for when they encounter hardships. They are the ones that you love so much you just want to pull them out of any situation that would cause them pain or sadness....but at the same time, you see a need for the struggle. You see something in them that starts to change, that starts to soften, that starts to mature as they deal with this new sensation of convergence.
The way we feel about our own children, is the way God feels about us. He is aware of all of our successes and is also very aware of all of our sorrows. In fact, Psalm 56:8 says "You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book." He knows all of it and He cares enough to keep record of it. You are His child. In that, there are times when He tells us to press on, to, as James puts it "Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing." Just like we are with our own children, He sees need for troubles. As much as His heart aches to pull us out of our uncomfortability, He sees it necessary for producing in us what we need to be complete. He sees you from beginning to end, and as a parent, He won't let you fall short of your potential.
Have you found yourself in situations lately that are uncomfortable? Situations that test and try who you are at your core? Let God your Father speak in to those trials. Hear what He has to say. Let His word drown out all of the others competing for your attention, because He is the one who knows your soul inside and out. And I can promise you 100%, that if you allow Him to walk with you through the fire you will be amazed at how He will use it for your good and the benefit of those around you! (Romans 8:28, Daniel 3:1-3:30)
-What trial have you encountered this week/month/year? Ask the Holy Spirit how He wants to use this to mature you.
-Read Daniel 3:1-3:30, how did Daniel respond to his trial and what was the outcome?