This Great People

” … Give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”~ 1 Kings 3:9

We’ve had the pleasure of watching a sweet little one for a few days to help out his mama.  He’s a wonderful baby; he sleeps well, eats well, and is pretty happy.  

But we’ve had a couple of moments where things weren’t going totally smoothly.  

While we were driving to Awana the other night, for example, baby decided he didn’t really want to be stuck in the car seat and so he let us know.  

Well, my daughter thought she’d help by singing to him at the top of her lungs.  Non-stop.  

And because hubby was trying to concentrate on driving, he turned the radio up.  

It was a little loud.  

Okay, that may be an understatement.  

But it reminded me of when our boys were young.
You know, when that first child comes along everything seems to go so smoothly.  You get into a routine and figure, hey, this parenting thing isn’t so rough.  But no one ever tells you what it will be like when you add a second baby to the mix.  They fail to mention the nights when your toddler will wake up every two hours (because he still doesn’t sleep through the night) and your baby will wake up every other hour to nurse … for months on end.  And then they won’t be tired at all during the day, and your toddler will start to test the limits and start to get really defiant, and you’ll have so little energy and emotional resources left, that you’ll just dissolve in a puddle of tears because you don’t even remember what it was like to sleep for 8 hours straight, and you’re hungry because you forgot to eat and you really have to pee because you really can’t remember when the last time you went was.  And then baby #2 will get a little older and you’ll discover that you never really understood what strong-willed defiance was until the day that he became a toddler.

It’s when life is crazy like that, that we really start to look for God and lean on Him.  Our prayers become so much more meaningful and thoughtful.  Well, mostly.  Unless you’re like me.

I was reading the Bible one morning at the kitchen table.  I couldn’t read on the couch because if I did, I’d fall asleep. So I was reading at the kitchen table.  And I came across Solomon’s prayer for wisdom.  Even in my sleep-deprived state, I realized that what I needed for my own situation was wisdom, just like King Solomon.

Like Solomon, I needed a discerning heart, so that I could wisely choose which battles to fight.  

(Quiet time: worth the fight.  Sleeping during quiet time: NOT worth the fight.)

I needed to be able to distinguish between what was right and wrong.  What my kids should be learning to do and what they should be learning not to do.  

(Cleaning up the toys: Should do.  Mattress-surfing down the stairs: Should NOT do.)

I needed to acknowledge that the little people I was in charge of governing were (and are) incredibly great.  Not in number, but in importance.  

I couldn’t govern them on my own, I needed God’s help to do that.  He has huge plans for them, and yet He’s entrusted me with raising them in the meantime.  What greater responsibility is there?

And so, with as much creativity as I could muster, I prayed Solomon’s prayer every morning.  And every day, God faithfully answered that prayer with wisdom, discernment, the ability to distinguish between right and wrong, and an understanding of the importance of this great people of His.  

On my end, I messed up, and continue to do so.  Lots and lots.  But God is faithful in spite of my faithlessness, and He continues to give me what I need to raise these kids.

Sometimes I forget because I’m not in the middle of desperately needing His help to get through the day.  

And then He reminds me in the quiet of a dark morning, when a baby needs warmth and reassurance. 

In the fuzziness of half-sleep, I remember, and I thank God once again for wisdom, discernment, and for This Great People of His.

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