We all know what exhaustion feels like. When we’ve reached our maximum capacity and are pushed beyond it. As parents we are forced to go beyond it all too often.
Parenting is ripe with exhaustion at all stages. Even though I don’t have adult children, I have been assured that the sleepless nights don’t end once a child grows up and leaves the home.
Think for a moment about children.
Babies can be sweet, cuddly, and precious; they can also be back-arching demanding cryers.
Children are inquisitive, kind, and helpful, while also being whiny, brattish, and throwing tantrums.
You may be asking, What’s the cure to this parental exhaustion?
I’m glad you asked.
NOTHING. Suck it up and tough it out!
I would like to point out that in life, there are seasons that come and go that are exhausting. There’s no specific pill I can give you that will thwart the entrance to the halls of exhaustion.
However, I will show you the source of strength. The Psalms often help my weary heart as an exhausted parent. David cries out to God in Psalm 28, and this reminds us to do the same. God uses the Psalms to help our hearts know how to talk to Him. To honestly cry out when you are at your wits’ end.
Psalm 22 verse 7 says,
“Yahweh is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped.”
Turn to God right now, be helped. I pray God’s word would be a balm for your exhaustion.
Usually after I cry out to God, He brings to mind just how much a gift my children are to Lacey and I.
Children are a great way God works on our hearts. We can be critical, foolish, and self-centered. God uses children to draw us to himself, simply because we are not capable of raising our children with what they need without God present in our lives.
Pray for the next generation. Pray for your future children, children, or grandchildren. Most importantly, pray for their hearts.
Christina Fox reminds us,
“While asking for healthy bodies and good behavior certainly makes my life easier, it doesn’t address my children’s most serious and deadly ailment: their heart"
The most important prayer I can pray for them is that they would see their sin and need for you.
(Read more of Christina’s prayer here- https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/the-most-important-prayer-for-our-kids)
Depend on our Father, who never gets exhausted. Commune with Him. He will satisfy you.
If you’ve been reading along in this little series—congratulations! You’ve made it to the end of the first week. As a reward to both of us, you the reader, and myself as the writer, I’ve decided to make Sundays a “Grace Day.”
Day Five: Be Attentive To Wisdom
While it is hard to nail down a precise figure (I looked at a number of studies), one large study pulling together a number of other studies reports: “To conclude, a close analysis of [the] Infidelity rate and its growth pattern clearly indicates that nearly one half of all married men and women are involved in extramarital affairs.”
Day Four: Orienteering
Many who know me are quite aware that I am indoorsy. It’s not that I don’t enjoy going for a run, a bike ride, or even a hike through the woods or in the mountains. It’s just that I don’t want to sleep out there. I believe God inspired us to create hotels and houses for a very good reason: to return to, enjoy, and sleep in. It’s a very important part of what separates us from the animals.
Day Three: A Heart of Wisdom
When we baptize someone at our church, we always remind our people that baptism is an outward sign of an inward reality. This picture of being lowered fully into the water and rising up again that happens on the outside for all to see, is a window into the soul of the baptized, revealing a heart cleansed, purified, and surrendered to Jesus, and thus saved, transformed, and made a part of the family.
Day Two: Our God Will Supply
It’s important we pause for a moment and look at the simple structure of Solomon’s book of Proverbs. The first nine chapters are extended descriptions of wisdom, largely in story form with instructions from a parent to a child, using at times images of “Lady Wisdom” and “Woman Folly.” They are there to explain two pathways, one that leads to a wise and good life, and one that leads to destruction. And these first nine chapters are there to help us see why we should care about chapters ten through thirty-one, which contain all the individual sayings of wisdom for which the book is famous.
Day One: The Fear of Yahweh
The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7, English Standard Version) I argued in yesterday’s post how God has hardwired wisdom into all of creation, and that wisdom is an applied skill in working with the grain of his design, and not against it, so that we may have a good life. An immediate question arises: if this is true, wouldn’t that mean a good life is available to all who recognize and pursue this, whether or not they believe in God?
Yesterday I preached the twenty-sixth sermon in The Whole Story sermon series, on the book of Proverbs. One of the main points of the sermon—because it is one of the main points of the book of Proverbs—is how wisdom is this thing that helps you see the way the world truly is, the way it works, so that you can live well inside of it. This is because wisdom is expertise and competence, it is applied skill, seen in the ways the Bible uses the word for craftsmen (Exodus 35:31), goldsmiths (Jeremiah 10:9), and sailors (Psalm 107:27).
This last Sunday, we made our way back into our Whole Story sermon series after a powerful four weeks taking a look at how we can help people ‘move to the right’, out of and away from the kingdom of darkness, and into the kingdom of the beloved Son. The sermon also served the purpose of kicking off our entry into the Wisdom literature of the Old Testament, with the story of Job as our first step in that journey.