Sometimes I am left scratching my head at my sons and their different personalities. One is always timid and has to be pushed into new or unfamiliar territory while another jumps at such opportunities. Instead, I often find myself pulling his reigns back in an effort to encourage him to slow down and savor the moment. Another son is very detailed and precise and agonizes over the smallest of details to make sure all is correct.
Recently, when traveling, I allowed two of my sons to place their hand on mine while I shifted the gears of our manual transmission car. One jumped at the opportunity as he has wanted to drive a vehicle since he was in diapers- well, almost! The other was hesitant and unsure of the experience. I gave both of my boys the same experience, but with two distinct purposes- to build confidence in one and satisfy the eagerness of the other.
I think this is one of my hardest struggles in parenting- knowing when to push them and when to pull them back. Knowing when to rush in and assist and when to allow them the struggle. Knowing when to give them freedom and when to love with restraint. Too often, I fall into the pit of comparison to determine my steps. It seems like there is comfort in being in the "normal" category. Normal behavior, normal size, normal dress, normal struggles equals not being alone or different. Yet, when you or your child do not fit in that category, it can leave you heartbroken.
The Father never meant for us to look towards comparison for security! He is our security for He alone is using circumstances to shape us for a future that only He can see. Our Father has never made a mistake and our differences and challenges did not slip past Him and will not hinder you from His perfect calling for your life. Instead, they will be used for our growth and His glory! Remember, He knitted you together in womb and is the only One who knows His perfect purpose and plan for you and your children.
Comparison can become dangerous in our faith walk as it often robs us of our joy, peace, and focus. Even more dangerous, is that it robs us of intimacy with the Father as our eyes shift from Him to others. Suddenly, they become the standard by which we live and determine what is good and right.
The enemy loves to use comparison to make us feel a "false security" in our sameness or to make us feel isolated because you are different. Both responses draw us to the wrong conclusion that it is all up to us. Rather than looking to the One who created us for His purpose, we look at fellow creations. Would you criticize a plate for not being a bowl or a knife for not being a spoon? Yet, we make such comparisons daily about ourselves or our children.
Recently, the Father is teaching me to seek after Him for guidance in parenting each of my children, and allow Him to grant me wisdom in their uniqueness. I find such comfort in that. I often repeat to my boys that I just want them to follow Christ and His leading- that is our view of success. So, I have to be prepared that often that journey will not follow the main path of society. Yet, what greater legacy could I instill in them, but to follow Him wherever He leads?
Today, are you struggling with a lack of joy or peace in a situation? Could it be that comparison is distracting you from His perspective or will?
How is fitting in the norms of society comforting to you? How is it difficult if you do not fit in those "norms"?
If the Father has created you for a special purpose, how does it feel to know that your challenges and struggles are not without purpose and will not prevent you from fulfilling the calling He has for you?
Praying for each of you today.... Blessings!