I went back to an old faithful passage this morning as I sat down with the Word. I first took this passage to memorization when my oldest daughter, Avery, was potty-training. I was close to being in despair! If you aren't potty-training right now as you read this, you probably think that's silly. As soon as you're done, the horribleness fades a bit and after a while, maybe you think it wasn't that bad. Or, worse, it actually wasn't bad for you and if you fall into the latter category, then count yourself fortunate! Anyway, mine was one of the worst I've heard about. My child "held it" to the bitter end and drove her parents insane! Pastor Ron preached on this passage and I took hold of it and didn't let go.
Lately, my daughters are constantly tempted to fight and argue, which breaks my heart. My constant prayer is for their unity as sisters who know God, and for God to grow patience and love in their hearts. So as I sat down this morning, I knew where I needed to read!
"But we hold this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed." (vs. 7-9)
My favorite part, as a mom, is "perplexed, but not in despair". I hardly have an hour go by in my day when I'm not perplexed! Perplexed about why my child does what she does and what in the world am I supposed to do about it? I often fall so short of my goal of pointing my children to truth and feel very close to despair when it seems as if all my efforts at training my children falls on deaf, unchanging ears. However, God is faithful! He says I'm a clay pot, and yet the Holy Spirit still resides here. I don't have to despair. I can be perplexed, but I must not despair!
The end of the passage, vs. 16-18 reminds me that my trials are achieving for me "an eternal glory that far outweighs them all" (even potty-training). So I choose to fix my eyes on Him, Who is eternal, and remember that my struggles of this life are temporary, but what I'm working toward is eternal - pleasing my savior.
And then I pray for wisdom!