Wisdom for the Teen Years: Day Four
perseverance through the trials
By Sheila Cowell
Read James 1:2-5
It’s hard to watch our kids struggle.
I’m a fixer, and as a mom, when my kids are hurting I want to make the pain go away and fix it for them. When they’re little and they experience physical pain, it’s important for us to care for them, comfort them and reassure them that they will be ok. But as they get older and the pain and difficulties they experience are out of our control and frequently even out of our sight, it’s a much different story when it comes to caring for and comforting them. Often times their struggle isn’t something we can relieve or fix, but instead it is actually part of God growing their character, integrity, and humility.
It’s hard to not be able to jump in and fix it, instead of letting them grow through it and loving them as we walk alongside them. But in James 1, God says He has good plans for even the difficult struggles they face. He has a plan to grow the perseverance they will need to carry them through life. He grows that perseverance so that they can be complete, not lacking anything. And if I get in the way of what God is doing through a trial, if I try to fix it or fight a battle for them, I rob them of the opportunity to grow in the perseverance God longs to build in them.
It also robs me of the perseverance He wants to build in me as I loosen the grip of my closed and tightened fists around each of them, trusting God with them as they grow instead of trying to control the outcome of every situation they face.
Joy may not be what comes to mind when our children go through hard things, but James says that we can, in fact, consider it joy when our children face trials of many kinds. We can get on our knees and pray fervently for them. We can ask God for the wisdom that He promises to give generously without finding fault. That means that even though we mess up as moms every day, God never withholds wisdom from us when we ask Him. We can trust Him to grow in them the perseverance they need to be complete, not lacking anything as they follow Him.
1. What struggle or trial is your child going through right now that you need to loosen your grip on fixing for them? Ask God to show you how to believe He is doing a good work to grow perseverance in them and trust Him more.
2. What do you need wisdom for in this season? God is a generous giver of wisdom when we ask Him.
3. What can you do today to practice considering a current trial joy? What do you think God is asking you to surrender to Him so you can experience His joy and grow your perseverance? God is always at work to grow us towards not lacking anything as we follow Him.
God, help me believe that You are working in this trial to grow both mine and my child’s perseverance so that we can be complete, not lacking anything as we follow You. Thank You for generously giving wisdom, help me to trust You more every day.