Saturday, July 5, 2014

"This too shall pass" & True Hope

"This too shall pass." I cannot list the number of times this phrase brought comfort to my weary soul- As I sat on our blue yoga ball, bouncing little Annie at 1 AM while singing "Hush Little Baby" because it was the only thing that would soothe her cries. When I was awoken once more from a deep sleep because she needed to be fed. When I felt like I could not hold my eyelids open because of the sleepless nights yet for some reason was unable to fall asleep for a nap. When I could not get her to sleep in her crib for even twenty minutes of a nap. (Yes, I tried everything from swaddling to not swaddling, from putting my shirt in her crib with her to actually sitting in the crib with her myself, from putting her in asleep to putting her in drowsy to putting her in awake, from nursing her to sleep, to rocking her to sleep, from giving her a binky to not giving her a binky. And all to none avail those first few months of her little life.) Telling myself that this would all soon be over- that she would outgrow the night feedings, that she would be learn to soothe herself back to sleep soon- brought me hope those weary nights and days. Matt and I used to joke that we would not be bouncing her on the ball and holding her to sleep when she was six. The sleepless nights and weary days would soon pass.

But recently, I was convicted by this phrase and the comfort it brought me. In essence, when I told myself, "This too shall pass," I was setting my hope on what I pictured would be "easier" times ahead, or, in other words, in my "difficult" circumstances passing. Yet, I know that this is not true! Though I may be able to convince myself that the potty-training years might be easier than the newborn phase, I am quite certain that I will soon be scrubbing toddler pee from the newly cleaned floor, telling myself, "This too shall pass."

I have been convicted to search my heart and ask Where is my hope? Is it looking to the days when Annie will sleep five hours without waking up? or to when she is done teething? or when she learns to put her binky in her mouth herself so that she can soothe herself more easily? ... If it is in these future circumstances, then I will always be disappointed. I will always have to be looking towards the next thing- to get past the potty-training, past the long homeschooling days, past the emotional middle school phase, past the drama-filled teenage years. I will constantly be telling myself "This too shall pass" but never reaching true and lasting hope and joy.

So, instead of looking to the next and seemingly "better" phase, Jesus is teaching me that I can have hope right now, in the middle of the night-waking and teething phase. I can have hope because of His promises, specifically His promise that He is using everything in my life (from the piles of dirty laundry to the encouragement of our Gospel community group) to sanctify me, making me look more and more like Him.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together hfor good,8 for ithose who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he jforeknew he also kpredestined lto be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be mthe firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also njustified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. (Romans 8:28-30)

 And I am sure of this, that he who began ha good work in you iwill bring it to completion atjthe day of Jesus Christ.
(Philippians 1:6)

It is true, and it can bring encouragement that these tough phases as a mom will pass, but I have to be careful that this is not where my hope is set, for it will continually change. But Jesus and His Word are eternal. And only He can be my eternal Hope.

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 
When Christ, who is your[a] life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
(Col. 3:1-4)

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