Raising kids is tough. They say when the first bundle of joy comes along your life will never be the same and for once what they say is actually true. Life is never the same once you have another person to take care of, to feed, to clothe, to change, to teach. Little eyes watching you like hawks, little ears listening keenly. And you worry. Where did they hear THAT word? Are they going to completely embarrass me when we go to the shops, or church or to visit great aunt Sophie? And free time? hobbies? you can say good bye to those; their needs, their wants take all of your energy and focus, We want our children to achieve all they are capable of, to fulfil their potential. Even when they may not quite be on the same wavelength cos momma knows best.
Spiritual kids are the same. There are people we pray for, plead with God to touch, to save, to bring closer to Himself. Once He does then they are kinda like my kids. They will be watching me, studying me, taking my example, listening to my words. They will mess my life up with demands for time, attention, more prayer, fellowship. Maybe they’ll embarrass me. Maybe they’ll even let me down and wander away.
When I pray am I ready for all that? New parents get ready, see the bump expand, endure labour and then set off. Am I ready for the mess of new birth? The chances are if God takes me at my word I am going to experience it. I am no Billy Graham to speak to a stadium of people and then move on. That’s His role not mine. Mine is in my church and in my family and my neighbourhood helping to disciple and love the new Christians, my new brothers and sisters in Christ.
There’s a saying that there are people only you can touch so when God is gracious and they come to know Him – I am the one on the front line beside them, with them. Am I ready?
Do I want to be?
I don’t think Paul would have told us not to get weary unless: first we were going to be get tired and second there was an alternative. God gives strength, it is His job to grow and nurture and keep people in His care. He chooses to use us. So the messiness is real but more real is His grace, His strength, His mercy. If I remember that then I can pray with confidence for my friends and neighbours because even though it is going to cause some turmoil, and it really is, I know He is the rock beneath our feet. Our feet – theirs and mine.
Harvest time is hard work but it is His work and He is faithful.