Be thankful for the challenges children bring

Be thankful for the challenges children bring

While I was pregnant I read the hiding place by Corrie ten boom. One part that has really stayed with me is when Corries sister insists they pray a prayer of thanks for the fleas and lice. At first Corrie really doesn’t think it is anything to be thankful for, but soon she sees that the guards won’t come in the barracks because of the lice so they are free to have Bible studies with the other women there.

The verse that prompted their prayer was this “Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus.’” 1 Thessalonians 5 v 17-18

I was reminded lately to be thankful for the challenges children bring not just the fun and easy stuff. Remembering that to have children at all is a blessing some wish for but do not have and some have had but they have sadly not for long.Recently I have been asked to pray for a family that after lots of medical tests found that there young children have a disease that seriously shortens their life. This week they actually lost the oldest of the children 4 years earlier than they had expected and know the younger one will also die prematurely almost certainly not seeing any teenage years. This made me really appreciate anew how fortunate I am to have my children and what a blessing they are from God!

Toddler tantrums, teenage grunts and moans, toys left randomly round th house, toothpaste in the sink, muddy footprints in the hall, crumbs in my bed etc etc. Are all things I’d rather not have to deal with, though they are minor challenges, but we are called to pray thankfully in all circumstances. Not just for the milestones we celebrate in a child’s life or for their achievements and joy they bring. But to be thankful for the frustration and weariness they bring because they are a gift from God we can be thankful.
Friday as I cleaned my teeth before I went to bed I saw toy car in bathroom and it prompted a prayer of thanks for child that left it there instead of the normal frustration of yet another toy left where it shouldn’t be. It’s not always easy to sometimes look past these challenges, misdemeanors and annoyances. We can just berate the child at fault.

But again this week I was reminded also that we are all capable of being the one at fault and often are! So I want to choose to more often just quietly clean up muddy footprint, to calmly sooth the screaming toddler and not fly into a rage because once again the toothpaste is left squeezing out all over the sink. I pray also that others in my life may be gracious enough to give thanks even when I am at fault and leave a trail of muddy footprints in my life!

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