Friday, August 7, 2009
Parenting and Prayer
“I believe; help my unbelief!” Mark 9:24
There were more than a few times in my life as a mother, especially when my children were young,when I wasn't sure I could live through my girls' traumas. I always found myself crying out to God. I often said exactly what this father says to Jesus -“I believe; help my unbelief!”
On mother's day when Emily was 13, she stayed home from church that day because she had a stomach ache. I was convinced she was just making my life difficult as teenagers sometimes can choose to do. When she didn't turn up for a youth event later in the day, I knew she was really sick, because she liked hanging out with the other kids. When I got home, her pain was much worse and she was spiking a fever. We took her to the emergency room and they diagnosed her with acute appendicitis and immediately prepped her for surgery. We had to wait quite a while, late into the night, for although we had a surgeon, all the anesthesiologists were out with their mothers. She went through surgery well and was hospitalized for several days.
I remember sitting in her room with her, holding her hand as she slept and praying - “I believe; help my unbelief!”. I believed God was healing her and I was scared. Scared because as a mother, I felt inadequate and ashamed. Scared because I had never done this before with my own child. So many times I had comforted other parents, and promised them that God would be with them and their child and now I had to believe and trust what I had so easily said. And yet, God, lovingly and tenderly guided us through that trauma, and healing and wholeness came, no matter how inadequate I felt. God is completely adequate for us at all times. Even when we cannot believe.
May we all walk through our day today, trusting that God is complete, especially when all we see is human inadequacy. When all we feel is failure and shame may we remember God is fulfilling and healing, even when we are falling down on the job and giving up. God's love is more than adequate for our needs today.