For his anger is but for a moment; his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
I have a friend who recently had a job review…although the review was mostly positive, there was one negative comment…it was not that bad, just a suggestion for improvement, but it really stung him deeply.
When he talked to me about his review, it reminded of how powerful negative experiences can be in our lives; despite all the things we have to be grateful for in our lives, it seems that it is the bad stuff that stands out in our minds.
Although raising my daughter has been an amazing adventure, filled with play, joy, learning and love…it is the last few years of turmoil that has stood out most…not the 14 years that passed before the last 6 that stands out for me…and of the last 6 years, not every moment has been torment…there have been joys even during the teen years, like our vacation trip to California, visits to New York City and beach, family celebrations, times when she made a good choice and called me to come and get her out of a bad situation, getting her drivers’ license, etc…
Every parent, single or otherwise, has had to deal with anger, turmoil, fear, and a lot of negativity as they have raised their children (and not just from their children)…and often these conflicts stand out more significantly than the good times we share with our children; especially when we are in the midst of these difficult periods…when it may feel as if life has never been easy at all.
However, feelings are not always facts, and (although I hate the saying) “this too shall pass” even if it does not pass as quickly as we may want it to.
And this is our good news: that although we do experience rough times in our lives, they do not last, and if we stop, breathe and really take a look at our lives, we will see that we had far more good times than bad as we raised our children…and that even during the tough times there was hope, as we were never alone…because God was with us always!
By filling our hearts with faith and surrounding us with the love and support of those around us the light of God’s grace has seen us through the darkest of nights, and brought us back into the bright day light of the joy of living our lives together, as we grow-up along with our children.
Once the darkness has cleared we can see that the bad times did not last forever, and that out of these experiences we have gained lessons for living, and new growth in our own lives, as well as in the lives of our children and all those around us. Out in the daylight, we can see that our lives are something to celebrate, and that being a parent is a great gift, filled with some challenges, worry and pain, but with more reasons for rejoicing in the love we share together.
Let us Pray:
God, thank you that the tough times in our lives do no last…that the joy out-weighs any pain or worry we may feel. Please help us to focus on the gift of being a parent, and on the good times we share with our children…help us to find the spark of faith that can light up even the darkest of days: the hope that you are always with us. Let us share this faith with all those around us, so that it can grow along with us and our children as we make our way through our lives together.