- Your child’s feelings are hurt after being excluded from a sleepover with friends
- Your child loses an election, doesn’t make the team or a role in the musical
- Your child sees on social media what he/she wasn’t a part of
- Your child makes a mistake costing the team a win and feels the weight on his shoulders
- Your child is sick and lays limpless in bed
As a parent whatever it is that makes your child hurt, hurts you. In fact, to me this hurt is one of the greatest. We want to control, shield and protect. But sometimes it is all out of our control and there is nothing we can do.
So what do we do?
How can we help our kids cope with hurt, pain and dissappointment? That is the question that consumed my thoughts last night as I tried to go to sleep. And the only thing I got is JESUS.
- We say He is enough and that He is all we need, but is He?
- In hard situations doesn’t “Jesus is the answer” sound too simple or trite?
- When there is real pain and nothing is fixed do we really believe He is all we need?
This is really where the rubber meets the road in regards to the gospel applying to all of life. If He is all we need and He is the answer and our only hope than He must be the filter through which we shepherd our kids in their hurts. And the filter through which we deal with our own heart and hurts.
So we tell them, for the first time or thousandth time, who Jesus is for them- that He knows what they are going through, that He knows our hurts and that He meets us in the midst of our sadness, struggles and sin. And because He cares for us, not a hair can fall from our head without His ordaining. Nothing is outside of His control. Nothing is beyond His reach. Nothing can separate us from His love.
His opinion is the only one that matters and He is the ultimate resource. The ultimate resource because He understands what it means to be hurt, to be rejected and to be alone. He became like us not just to suffer for us, but with us. Jesus Incarnate experienced everything we do and therefore identifies with us in every way.
Will our kids still hurt?
Will we still experience their pain?
Do we dismiss, then, our hurts as if they shouldn’t be a big deal or effect us?
But to know and to rest in the One who is FOR us and works in and through all things for the good of those who love Him means I don’t have to have all the answers and I can be okay with things not fixed. I can trust that He will use our hurts to draw us more to Himself. To give us eyes to see outside of ourselves. To make us more compassionate on others who hurt. To reveal our idols and to show us where we fail to believe. To shape and mold us to be transformed more and more in His image and not conformed to the whims of this world.
The gospel never gets old and is always the same story. It is what we need to hear preached weekly and it is what we need to preach to ourselves daily. It is the A to Z of the Christian life and must be the filter through which we view everything. He alone offers true peace, hope and rest… even when we still hurt.