MAY 16

Temporary Difficulties 

BY BARBARA RAINEY
 
Have I not wept for the one whose life is hard? Was not my soul grieved for the needy? JOB 30:25
 
You’ve been through the same type of difficulties your children are facing now, whether as preschoolers, school-age kids or teenagers. But have you forgotten what it was really like to be their age? When they suffer setbacks, are you there to give them the emotional support they need—from someone who’s been there?
 
Our oldest daughter, Ashley, tried out for the cheerleading squad three times in a row but failed to be chosen on each occasion. Still, she decided to give it one final effort during her junior year, and this time we went all out. I arranged for her to take lessons. I videotaped her practicing. Together we critiqued her moves. We prayed and prayed about it, feeling surer each time that God wanted her to make the team this year. It would give her a strong platform for influencing her public school for Christ.
 
But when the tryouts came around, she didn’t make it. This time, I was as heartbroken as she was. It seemed so unfair. We cried for hours, so upset that she had to endure this loss a fourth time in a row. I could have said to her, “Ashley, cheerleading really isn’t all that important. You’re making too much of a fuss over this.” But this was the most important thing in her life at the time, and she needed me to let her know it was okay for her to cry, to feel sad . . . even to wonder why God had said no again. Through an amazing set of circumstances, Ashley ended up being selected for the squad a week later. But as I look back on that experience now, I realize that the biggest thing God accomplished in our lives at that time was to knit our souls together, mother and daughter, in sorrow. 
 
DISCUSS 
Name the biggest challenges facing your children right now. How can you walk with them in the valleys yet still help them trust a sovereign and loving God? 
 
PRAY 
Pray for the words to speak . . . and the words not to speak. 
 

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