Before You Say, "I Quit!"
- Thursday, September 16, 2010
"Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing . . . ." (Luke 5:5)
A homeschool mother of four young children is more than just tired. She is weary and discouraged. She toils until late in the night, only to be awakened too early by the baby—and, without enough rest, her day begins again. She is taking care of needy little people and handling all the home duties with not much help. Her little ones are rambunctious and need a lot of one-on-one instruction, and she wonders if they are learning anything at all. A moment of rest is all she dreams of.
A rebellious child is draining all the energy and resources and time from a distraught homeschool mother. It seems that all her patience and consistency are unproductive and her research is coming up empty. It is a moment-by-moment, daily battle and she is weary of the fight. She sees no change in her child and is becoming hurt and depressed. Her hurt often turns to anger and the battle is intensified. A moment of peace is all she hopes for.
An insensitive and unsupportive mother-in-law, as well as nosey and rude neighbors, push another mom's resistance and resolve to the limit. Always being questioned, always under scrutiny, regularly scorned, and often excluded—can it really be this hard to stand firm? Why doesn't anyone understand or see that she is trying to do what is best for her children? She dreams of moving to a faraway distant place far away from it all.
A child struggles day after day to just understand his surroundings, let alone any academics. Mom is worried about not only their education, but their very life as they have an abundance of physical and medical issues to deal with. This mother prays day and night for some kind of miracle to make it all right. She sees no help coming soon as she struggles through yet another day. A moment of hope is what she would live for.
Divorce papers were just delivered, or a death certificate was issued. Legal paperwork that has more power to change a life than just the black ink on the paper, and it seems to crush the spirit of these homeschool moms. Can they get through another day without falling apart? How long can they be strong? How can they face another day, let alone consider a school year? But time marches on as if nothing has happened. Can she keep going? A moment to breathe and think and grieve is what this homeschool mom needs.
A spouse unemployed long-term, and barely hanging on financially, this homeschool family wonders if they are really doing what is best. Maybe Mom should try to get a job and they should put the kids in school. Seems like an easy solution, but they know the long-term fallout will be worse than being financially poor—their children might become spiritually bankrupt. Will God provide so that they don't have to keep wondering? A monetary blessing is what their daydreams are all about.
All of the above scenarios are based on real stories of real homeschoolers. I have heard from them. They wonder how they will make it through another day. They struggle; they cry; some wish with all their might that they could just say, "I quit!"
I can address some of these needs, but I could not possibly address all these needs in an understanding way, as I have not lived through half of them. I would love to be able to sit down with each one and just listen and then pray together. Next, I would want to share with my weary and hurting friends some help from God's Word and try to comfort them with the same comfort I have received. And, just in case you, too, are on the verge of giving up, I want to intervene before you say those heartbreaking words: "I quit!"
The intervention I have would come from a similar scenario taken from the pages of Scripture in Luke, chapter 5, as we look at a man named Peter.
Peter's whole life revolved around his occupation of fisherman. Peter was identified by his occupation. This is who he was. This is what he did. Peter has been toiling in his occupation all night. He's probably exhausted but has still more work to do. He has nothing to show for his backbreaking efforts, and he has to clean those nets after a very long night's worth of seemingly useless toil and prepare them for use again tomorrow. Tomorrow, which has not much more hope for reward than today.
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