The smell of fresh dirt from the garden, the long evenings of shelling peas over buckets in the afternoon, the sound of the ceiling fan hovering over me as I slept, because my grandmother wouldn’t keep the air conditioner on at night…these are some of the memories I have of a remarkable woman who taught me something about country life and simple living. She was an independent soul whose hard, blistered hands told a story about her days.
She was a consistent presence growing up. Though she lived a few hours away, she made sure to travel and not miss our growing up years. She called us grandchildren regularly, and made sure to connect in whatever way God led her. She knew the importance of support and family. She sacrificed for us because she believed that no one ever grows up too much, that they grow out of need for a lending hand. Or more importantly, a lending heart. It was just who she was. After I graduated from high school, I became engrossed in college life, but that didn’t affect my grandmother. Nope, she would write me letters and tell me about her week, never failing to remind me of how much she prayed for me. She was faithful…even when I wasn’t. It stuck, not only in the memories of my mind, but the core of my heart.
Then there was my mom…my hard, hard working mother! She taught me so much about faithfulness in hardship. She was the example of pushing through and pushing on! She would be angered if I did not blog that “she was so not perfect.” If you talk with her, she would probably only tell you about all her “flaws,” but in my eyes, I saw a woman who was doing everything she could possibly do to raise us. She didn’t have much to add to conversations about party planning or the latest fashion. It wasn’t that she didn’t like those things, it was simply that she didn’t have an ounce of time to ever even think of such. I had tremendous respect for her and still do. She kept her focus on what really mattered in life.
Once again, when I went to college, I was consumed with trying to figure out how to live each day. This unorganized girl, was simply trying to make it to class on time and not forget to put gas in her car and socks on her feet! Someone tried to introduce a datebook into my life, but it would be months before I figured out how to remember that I even had it to use! Mom certainly never needed reminders to call me. It was daily. She was faithful when I wasn’t. Then there were our early married years with little babes. This unorganized college girl was now a mom of two! I was thrown into trying to figure out how to get showered daily and watch children at the same time. I sure couldn’t focus on how many foods from the pyramid I was including in my kids lives. If cheerios landed on the floor, it was as good as a plate! Go for it! Someone tried to introduce the idea of making a grocery list, but each time I tried, I would forget to take the dang thing to the store! My world was spinning with dirty laundry, smelly diapers, hungry kids (and animals), doctor visits and a list of other things!!! A list…yes that’s right! A list that I never made but thought I could simply remember each day! Mom would call, console me and remind me to lean into God, to depend on Him and pray. She would help remind me of birthdays and events because she had this thing called faithfulness and grace. She knew that no matter how old one gets, they can always use a little help (especially in big transitions of life)! God reminded me of these memories just last week when I was studying 2 Timothy 2:13:
“If we are faithless, He remains faithful.”
I fear saying that to those who may take that as a license to “do what they want when they want it.” I dare not warn one of the folly of making light of His faithfulness. But I am not writing on that particular matter, rather to the person that is overburdened and fearful. It is you, I wish I could embrace and remind that He sees, understands and is so very faithful.
When we are going through crazy seasons of life where we feel like we have so little time to be studying the Scriptures and fears enter our head that threaten us by saying, “He will withhold His favor, because you aren’t “doing enough.” Can we just pause and remember, God is faithful even when we are not. His love is not conditional on how many hours you read Scripture and pray. He sees where you are. Call out to Him as you drive your car, bathe your babies, eat a quick meal on your lunch break or as you are walking to class.
When we are raising our children and we fail to reach our level of perfectionism. When the enemy taps us on our shoulder to say to us that “any struggle our child has is our fault.” Can we pause and remember that God is faithful? He has a voice that we cannot trace nor can we see. He has a means of grace that reaches into the heart of our children and speaks to them where we have no way of reaching. Our imperfections as parents are one of the very reason our children so desperately need God.
When our doubts want to push us away from the truth of the Gospel and our waywardness brings hardship when God so desperately wants peace for our souls, may we pause and remember that He is faithful, when we are not. He will never abandon us and will keep pursuing us, even as we wrestle our faith journey out. He is not a bully nor is He going to force His way into your life. He simply keeps pursuing and promises that if we will seek Him, we WILL find Him. Precious friends, let that lack of peace press you to the Father. For continuing to persist in ignoring the deep questions of your soul will keep a spirit of angst and dismay. He is waiting and is oh so faithful.
When we are doing our best at being a college student and make a bad decision. When fear creeps in and says, “you aren’t really a Christian. If you were, you wouldn’t have made that poor choice…God isn’t with you.” Can we pause and remember God is faithful when we are not.
When we feel betrayed by friends and our heart begins to grow in cynicism and caution towards others, regarding letting them into our world, can we pause and remember God is faithful, when OTHERS are not. Malachi 3:6 reminds us, “I the Lord do not change.” When people change like shifting shadows, He is steadfast and His attitude remains loving and kind.
“God is not human, that He should lie, not a human being, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill?” Numbers 23:19
When we are not able to skillfully work at our gifting and fear casts its dark shadows while whispering, “he will take that away from you, you know…” Can we just pause and remember God is faithful when we are not. For “the gifts and call of God is irrevocable.” Romans 11:29
When temptation lurks and we feel like it is too much to bear, remember that God is faithful. Do not give in to whatever it is. Trust in His faithfulness, when our strength seems so weak and wavering.
“God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Cor. 10:13
He is faithful. Believe it. Grab on to it and turn away from whatever it is.
“A faithful man will be richly blessed.” Prov. 28:20
When we feel fearful and unprotected, when we worry over someone slandering our reputation and our patience seems to be growing thin, remember that God is faithful. He will protect us and our reputation. We must stay focused on His promises and wait for His deliverance.
“But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.” 2 Thess. 3:3
Reflecting on what my mom and grandmom demonstrated towards me in very trying and selfish parts of my life, inspires me to draw near to the Father and thank Him for how they represented Him. For how they “lived out” such an important quality that God wants us to cling to and believe about Himself.
Rest in His peace and trust in His faithfulness. He is with you, even at this very moment…
Love each of you,