When I am making bread from scratch and pouring all the ingredients in a big glass bowl it doesn’t look like much. Flour, oil, sugar, salt, starter, and water look more like sandbox soup. It isn’t until I start mixing and kneading that the ingredients slowly combine and the bread begins to take shape as the dough I intend it to be. Still, whenever I’m in the middle of hard stirring I say to myself, “trust the process”. There are necessary instructions to follow in order for bread to be made into something delicious. I always know what the end result will be, but the first six steps I doubt just a little. It bears no resemblance to the warm melt-in-your-mouth carbohydrates I want to devour!
Sometimes in the small day-to-day tasks it is hard to see the final outcome for whatever I’m trying to achieve. Whether I am attempting to train Jesse toward an obedient heart or help him in his developmental delays, I focus on one day at a time. I can’t even think about how impossible the tasks seem if I try to envision what or who he will be at age 20. The “what-if’s” start to crawl around in my brain and I just might hyperventilate.
What if he never gets potty training?
What if he never rides a bike?
What if he never has the mental understanding of his peers?
What if something happens to Jason or me?
Who will take care of him? Will he ever be an independent adult?
What if I fail as a mother?
The “what-ifs” are no help at all. It just creates fear and doubt and shrinks my faith.
A lot of things in my life right now resemble sandbox soup. I’m just not quite sure how it will all turn out yet. But here’s the thing: God does not ask me to have everything tied up neatly in a pretty bow. Or quite frankly, He does not feed my arrogance and insecurity to know the future. My finite little mind is not meant to handle such things. My Father just asks that I trust Him, trust the process of daily perseverance. Prepare. Practice. Pray. Patience. Persevere.
Not only does each day have enough worries of its own, there is also enough grace for every day. On Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and every day through the week God makes His mercies new, His grace is fresh and able to sustain me as I navigate through the trenches of teaching a child with special needs. His supply is infinite because He is and because “He tends His flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young” (Isaiah 40:11 NIV). Trust the process. Take it one step at a time.
I also take comfort that as He makes each day new, so He also renews my heart of faith. Every morning when I wake up I can choose to follow Him and trust in His plan for that day. Sometimes when I decide to go ahead of the Lord relying in my own strength the spiritual lessons learned are hard and humbling, peeling back the layers of sin in my heart. As I learn to walk in step with Him, I know there will be days I stumble, flounder, and flat out fail. But then my heart always circles back to the cross and I cast my anchor upward. Forgiveness and redemption are found there.
Friend, when the days are long, filled with your stubborn three year old who refuses to eat the lunch you prepared, or the youngest one just marked up the walls with colorful permanent markers, or your other child needs constant attention right now, remember that God makes all things new: days, seasons, years, and even people. It can be tiring when I’m in the thick of it and I see little to no progress with my son, but I trust Jesus Christ to carry me through another day. I can come before Him and say:
“You make all things new. You continue to renew my heart each day to transform me into the likeness of Jesus.
You make all things new. Your mercies never end and my heart is light as I receive Your flood of grace for this day.
You make all things new. You turned my lifeless heart into one that beats with the rhythm of Your Own.
You make all things new. You say that my wailing will turn into dancing, my sorrow into joy. Beauty will rise from the ashes.
You make all things new. Your promise of a new heaven and a new earth is true. I will wait in expectation as You make all things new.”
And the promised return for our perseverance in trusting Him with our tasks? The end result is bountiful fruit; fruit of the heart that the Lord will use to glorify Himself as we begin to reflect His Son more and more. Excuse me, I hear the oven timer going off. My bread is done.
Grace upon grace,