Let God’s promises shine on your problems

“Let God’s promises shine on your problems.” ~Corrie ten Boom

Corrie and her family helped many Jews escape the Nazi holocaust by hiding them in her house. Corrie actively helped refugees in the Dutch underground until she was eventually caught by the Nazis and imprisoned for her actions. She survived a depth of darkness at the hands of other men that few of us will ever experience.

Here’s one excerpt of Scripture that comes from the songbook of David, who was no stranger to challenges. He wrote in Psalm 103:2-5,

“Let all that I am praise the Lord;
may I never forget the good things he does for me.
He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases.
He redeems me from death
and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
He fills my life with good things.
My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!”

I can only imagine that these words may have been some of those promises Corrie shined on her challenges as she risked her life hiding refugees, including the time she spent imprisoned in a concentration camp.

Take some time today to look up some promises to shine on your life today. You already have a few to start with. We may not be destined to hide refugees in our home, but there are people you can bless today with kindness and generosity.

Feel free to add your own promises that you think will help other readers in the comments below.

When You Fail Your Family

We love watching train wrecks. That’s why our eyeballs lock in on the haggard celebrity on the cover of the gossip magazine who is about to lose it all. The hashtag #fail is a common thing to look up on social media and the videos we watch people failing in life go viral daily.

But who likes failure in their own lives? I am guessing that no one does, and this is the part when I say, “don’t let your failures define you,” and I do believe that. On the other hand, failure is part of the mix when it comes to parenting. Even when you are trying your best to do right for your family, the disappointments are inevitable. You make judgment errors. You battle distractions constantly. There are those times you throw in the towel or at least feel like it. As parents, we miss the mark all the time. Does that make you a failure?

Does it make you a failure when your child is failing a class? Does it make you a failure because your child can’t seem to make friends?  Does it make you a failure when your child can’t play a sport to save his life? Does it make you failure when the school counselor tell you that your child has a learning disability? Does it make you feel like a failure when you realize that you don’t have the money to pay for your child to get to specialized education? Maybe you’ve done everything right to raise your child to be successful, but he’s not. Does that make your failure? The answer is no to all of those.

You are the one who determines whether you are going to be a failure or success. Going through a series of fails does not make you a failure. Quitting is failing. If you are alive and have your children or access to invest yourself into your children, you will always a chance to win.

Walk with your children through their troubles. You are their closest teacher when it comes to coping with life. Many times, they are going to copy your pattern.

Some of you are saying, “That’s the problem. I fail a lot more than most folks. What if I don’t know how to cope?” I don’t have a quick answer for that, but will start with put your faith in God. I will paraphrase my favorite Jewish Proverb to help you get started, “Trust in God and what He says with all your heart, and don’t base everything on your own understanding of life.” Let God be in the driver’s seat of your life and He will straighten out the twisted avenues of your life. Ask a relative or a trustworthy friend to help you find a reputable church that teaches the Bible without all of the religious mumbo-jumbo. I’ll bet you’ll find a supportive community waiting for you as well.

Get help. Get professional counseling. Find a licensed family therapist. Take a parenting class. If money is an issue, start with looking for resources online. Read a parenting book. Go the public library and borrow one. You don’t have time? Make time? Leading a family is something that takes a lifetime, yet we  spend more time preparing and studying for a career which may last just a small portion of our lives than we do shaping souls who bear our name.

There are no perfect parents, but spend time with those who want to be great ones. One way or another you’ll pick up some solid parenting skills. Everyone should have a mentor to help them grow; that’s young people and adults.

The greatest thing you can do for your children is to be there for them. Be present physically, emotionally, and mentally. They already know that you are far from perfect, and still love you anyway. If you are still there and haven’t thrown in the towel for good then you are on the road to success.

Don’t let the failures define you. Instead, use the failures to refine you. Stop making excuses. You have the power to decide and follow through to be a rock for your children to stand on. Just take ten minutes to browse through a news site or tv channel. This world is quickly changing that demands that you prepare your children. The best thing you can do for your children is to give them a clear voice in this noisy world. If you can do that you are already #winning.