Parenting is hard for lots of reasons. But one of the most overwhelming, I think, is that sometimes it’s hard to figure out what is actually the most important priority. Parenting can put such a pinch on our values that sometimes, good things – things we care about – have to full under the “line” of what is actually possible to accomplish in a day. Or a week. Or a year.
That’s why it is important to tenaciously fight for what is most important and to do that first.
I was reading in Daniel recently and was struck by a phrase spoken by King Nebuchadnezzar. After the king orders Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego into the fiery furnace for refusing to worship his (Nebuchadnezzar’s) image, and witnessing them come out of the furnace with no burns or even the smell of smoke, he was baffled and amazed. And then this very powerful king, who had been a skeptic of YHWH to this point, makes this startling statement:
“…for there is no other God who is able to rescue in this way.” [Daniel 3:29b]
We want to keep our kids – to rescue them – from lots of things. We want to rescue them from pain and suffering. We want to rescue them from poverty, from hardship, and oppression. We want to rescue them from bad friendships and bad relationships and bad marriages. We want to rescue them from insignificance and from failure. We want to rescue them from their own bad habits, from the internet, from the evils of culture, and from the war within their own hearts and minds.
However, there is no other God who is able to rescue in this way.
They can’t be rescued by the gods of success or interpersonal acumen or intelligence.
They can’t be rescued by good grades, good social skills, good test scores, or good opportunities or good behavior.
They can’t be rescued by a busy schedule or an empty schedule.
They can’t be rescued by where they get their education.
They can’t be rescued by fixing social problems.
They can’t be rescued by all the things you don’t let them do.
They can’t be rescued by internet-policing software.
They can only be rescued by the God of the universe and the saving work of Jesus Christ.
Our children are in need of rescue and in need of a rescuer.
You are not the rescuer they need, and nothing you can do will rescue them. What they need above all things is to be pointed to The Rescuer – the one who can save their souls, their lives, and their future. They need to be pointed to the Triune God of the Bible – the very God Nebuchadnezzar saw in action.
So how? How do you do that?
YOU are in need of rescue and in need of a rescuer.
I would offer one key suggestion on that front: remember that just as much as your children, YOU are in need of rescue and in need of a rescuer. When we decide to live with the desperation of needing to be rescued, we probably begin to look at life, faith, time, schedule, and priorities very differently. We also begin to look at parenting very differently.
In what ways does living in light of your need for rescue affect your time, talent, and resources?
What good things need to fall below the line of priority to make room for God things?
How can you express the need for rescue and need of a Rescuer to your children this week?
Announcements and Information:
This summer, Calvary is going to be hosting a VERY special event called The Compassion Experience. This free family event, brought to us by Compassion International, will help your family increase their mission-mindfulness by experiencing the life of a child in need of sponsorship. Families will walk through a multi-sensory, audio-guided tour together. It’s like bringing a mission trip to you! We really hope your family will participate in the experience and that you might consider volunteering as well (volunteers must be age 16+ on their own or with an adult if they are under 16).
This event will draw people from throughout our region. We are honored to be hosting!
There will be more information about signing up and participating next month on this blog and in other places coming soon!
Dates and Times for Compassion Experience at Calvary:
Thursday, June 14, 11a-7p
Friday, June 15, 11a-7p
Saturday, June 16, 11a-7p
Sunday, June 17, 10:30a-6:30p
-VBS is June 11-14 (New 4-day format this year!) Registration for volunteers and participation are now open! We see this as a church-wide event for children (not just a children’s event!)