Every person is born with a rebellious nature.
Who normally sees the extent of it? Parents.
As a parent myself, my toddler has been rebelling a lot lately. So I began fighting it with continuous prayer, which eventually led to the lesson on how to be still and focus on Jesus.
Meditating On Scripture
One day, God said to me, “Be still.” So I mediated on the familiar Scripture:
Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! (Psalm 46:10, NKJV)
But I was completely confused as to what this Scripture meant to me in my parenting situation. Was God telling me to give up all my efforts to distract, deter, and discipline?
Perplexed, it didn’t take long before my son’s rebellion intensified. He had gotten to the point of looking me right in the eyes before throwing, hitting, or pushing something over.
Doubting My Efforts
And especially, he wanted me to notice when he threw his iPad onto the hard kitchen floor. That’s it, I thought, no one gets away with throwing Apple products in this household!
So using the Love and Logic parenting method, I put my son in his room and closed the door behind. And he wasn’t allowed to come out until his tantrum had fully subsided.
So I set myself firmly near the door, making sure he didn’t try to get out of his room. But as the waiting grew longer, my son’s screams and sobs grew even louder.
And soon, my mind began to weaken. I began doubting what I was doing.
As the uncertainty flooded my thoughts, so did the challenges of the past four days. My husband had been gone on a work trip, I just recovered from a stomach bug, and I was dealing with a two-year-old and a two-month-old.
On previous occasions, I’ve tried breathing through it and praying for God’s help. And with great success, He gave me His patience, grace, and love to handle it.
But by this point, I was physically and emotionally drained. I prayed, but I didn’t feel any of His power come upon me.
“Be still.” I heard again, but the words meant nothing to me. Because as the storm raged on in my little boy, my newborn started crying in his swing.
Focusing On Him
Now I was stuck between disciplining my toddler and helping my newborn. “I can’t do this!” I said.
He responded, “Focus on Me.” So I focused my thoughts on Him instead of my distressed children.
I thought of His power, authority, peace, and self-control. I thought of His wisdom, comfort, strength, and long-suffering.
But as ten minutes went by, I shook my head saying, “I don’t think I can do this any longer.” God answered, “The worst is over.”
Applying His Truth
Soon, the crying quieted down to absolute silence. I, on the other hand, began crying in relief.
God had just showed me how to be still. He showed me how to cease striving; to quiet my mind; to focus all my thoughts on the power of God and to remember Who He is.
But the lesson didn’t end with my son’s defiance that day. Only a few days later an actual storm surged over my house.
And within the confines of our tornado shelter, I rocked and prayed and repeated what God told me: focus on Me.
Growing My Faith
I kept repeating, Stay the winds, Lord. Stop the rotation. I believe God is watching over this house, preventing any damage. I believe He has the power to stay the rotation, keeping a tornado from forming.
This went on for about 45 minutes. Then I heard an even louder boom of thunder, violently shaking the house.
God’s voice pierced the aftermath, “The worst is over.” It was a moment of complete clarity.
He said, “Come!” So Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw [the effects of] the wind, he was frightened, and he began to sink, and he cried out, “Lord, save me!” (Matthew 14:29-30, AMP)
Examining Your Focus
In response to my son’s tantrum earlier in the week, I was like Peter. I started out strong in faith and then began sinking from nagging thoughts and fears.
I wasn’t focusing on Jesus, but on the wind of my son’s sobs and screams. Yet, when I started to place my thoughts on His mighty power and peace, He gave me the endurance to overcome.
So examine your focus. Does your faith dwindle when prayers go unanswered or when methods that have worked before don’t seem to anymore?
Friend, it is never too late to focus on Him. Entrust your thoughts to God’s unwavering character and faithfulness, and it will help you overcome every storm!
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