3 Aug 2018
This too shall pass.
This little phrase is often uttered between me and my friends and family. Whatever the current crisis of parenting is, it won’t last long; it will pass. I remember this during the tantrum, the nappy change, the disastrous melt down, the exhausting bedtime or the ridiculous day. It’s in these moments that I need a calm hand on the shoulder, a voice on the end of a phone or a reassuring message on my phone, “This too shall pass!” If I really need a laugh, they’ll remind me of the 2 trips to A & E I have made with sons who have swallowed coins, one was while in bed (a 2p, of all the coins to choose!) My son explained it as, “it fell in my mouth from my pocket and I swallowed it” – it proved true – “this too shall pass!”
So while that can help with the hard stuff – it is true of all of the stuff! I don’t remember the last time I pushed my double, or for that matter triple buggy. I don’t remember the momentous day we could suddenly do all do our own seatbelts – though I longed for it. Time passes. Children grow up. New stages begin. Milestones are passed. So just as I need to hear, “This too shall pass” in the tough times, I need to remember, “This too shall pass” in the good times. More importantly, I need to hear this in the every days where I have an opportunity to show them Jesus; the chats on the walk to school, the elbows on the tea table, the sofa wars, the endless deep questions to prolong bedtime, the funny man in the supermarket, these too shall pass. There will be a day when I have very few chances to show them Jesus.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 tells God’s people to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and strength”, and tell their kids His commands – “impress them on your children, talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down, when you get up.”
Love Him and love one another, point to Him in your every days – include Him in the fabric of life, in your response about the funny man in the supermarket, in your thankfulness for the meal, in the kind word and in the reason to say sorry to your sister. Why is this so urgent?
“12 be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”
Because just as they were likely to forget God’s great rescue, so we are likely to forget all He has done. We, and our children, need reminding in some way, every day.
So how did the Israelites do at following this command? God couldn’t have been clearer. He even gave practical tips and visual reminders. Were they able to raise kids who knew and loved the Lord, who loved one another? NOPE, they blew it, even with it written on their heads and nailed to their doors. Later we read, in Judges 2:10, that a generation grew up that did not know the Lord.
Panic! It’s on us! Read more, try harder, tie something round somebody, pass me that permanent marker. Quick!
NO! Instead, rejoice in Jesus. The story didn’t stop there. The Law that crushes us, the commands we fail to keep: It’s not on us. It’s on Him. He took my failings and gave me His righteousness, so now a new spirit is at work in me and my everydays are His good news days.
“For God, who said, ”Let light shine out of darkness“, made this light shine into our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all surpassing power is from God and not from us.” 2 Corinthians 4:6-11
We may be down, but never out, because we are made alive in Jesus. He is with us to help us. He is the liquid gold poured into my naff jar. He is the Saviour who shines His light into me and through me to my children and my friends on my patch. He brings me to life. He has a room with my name on the door. He has a crown for me in His hands. Let the wonder of who He is, what He has done and what He has promised so fill your minds, hearts, lives, dramas, friendships, kitchen, school run that your everydays are good news days. Because this too shall pass.
“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us all an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”
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