As joyful and fun as parenting can be, it’s also a lot of hard work, no matter how old your child is.
The early years are filled with physical demands as you tote your baby everywhere, wrangle their wriggly little body for diaper changes and baths, wake up in the night, and fulfill endless hands-on tasks.
This physical work changes to emotional and mental demands as your child gets older, and you jump into teaching virtues and courtesy, navigating friendships and extracurricular activities, and helping your child understand the adult world.
Whatever phase of parenting we’re in, at times we feel anxiety and concerns about our child.
Most of us stay up at night sometimes, questioning if we’re doing the right things with our children, and whether the challenges we’re facing can be surmounted.
When these doubts and worries assail our hearts, hopefully these Scripture passages from Matthew’s Gospel can bring some peace, knowing that God is always with us through it all.
Jesus is ready to help
Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. (Matthew 20:30-32)
Jesus is ready to help as soon as someone asks. “What do you want me to do for you?” he says. Like the blind men in this verse, I want to remember to call on God in every difficulty I face.
God’s healing awaits
Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for 12 years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment. (Matthew 9:20-22)
I can almost picture Jesus saying “Take heart, daughter,” when I face a hard situation. I wonder how I can be more like the woman in this story, humbly and faithfully following Jesus. Even when I fail to follow her example, I know there is peace and healing awaiting me that only God can give.
He makes our burdens light
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
An easy yoke and light burden might sound like the furthest thing in the world from parenting when you’re up with the baby for the third time in one night, or your young kids have a stomach bug.
Yet God’s peace can be with us even in these situations. I’ve found myself able to feel grateful, even for the midnight wake-ups and hard days, when I call on God for help.
When we are weary and burdened, what a gift it is to know that God can bring rest for our souls. His infinite grace is there to aid us; we have only to ask.