Anybody else remember the whole Oscar kerfuffle over that song that Joni Eareckson Tada sang for a movie last year? Me neither. But the title of the song popped into my head a minute ago as I was feeling lonely and remembered that I am not alone.
Being a mommy can be one of the most lonely experiences one can have. Even when surrounded by small people, yes, because those small people alternately seem like aliens and hostiles; either way, they're sometimes not very good company. And, in fact, the job of taking care of them can feel intensely isolating and solitary. You can have the best husband in the world and organize all the play dates you can muster so you can hang out with other moms, but at the end of the day - well, more likely in the middle of the day, say, between 11:30 and 5:00, the battle is yours alone.
And it's so very hard to remember that God is in it with you. He's not exactly offering a hand while you manage a blow-out on a tired baby while yelling at the four year old to stop teasing his soaking-wet two year old sister. Which makes it all the more important that we remember one of God's most oft-repeated great and precious promises in those times: "I am with you."
Yesterday at BSF, T came away having learned that at the end of Deuteronomy, Moses was going to die and God was giving his people a new leader, Joshua. And the exhortation that God gave Joshua over and over was this: "Be strong and courageous, because I am with you."
You: be strong and courageous because God is with you. Be strong and courageous in managing those cranky kids from 11:30 until naptime. Be strong and courageous and actually have that difficult conversation. Be strong and courageous and actually be honest with yourself. Be strong and courageous and reach out and make a new friend, or just get out of yourself and be a friend without needing anything in return. Be strong and courageous and forgive, despite what you fear it will cost you. Be strong and courageous and don't be threatened by that other person whose strength makes you feel inadequate. Be strong and courageous and don't try to do it all, as if it all depends on you. Be strong and courageous and give where it makes you uncomfortable. Be strong and courageous and put in that extra ounce of effort for self-discipline around the house or to not take that one more sip or bite.
All this: because the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Does that mean anything special to you? If it doesn't, do you think it should? That's where I'm at right now: I think it should mean more to me - by which I mean that it should make a tangible difference in how I think and how I live - that the Lord God is with me wherever I go. The King of the Universe is always at my side, he's got my back. He is the most faithful of friends and the wisest of counselors and the strongest of allies. Strong and courageous doesn't come from within; it comes from Above.
"The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing." Zephaniah 3:17