I have a confession. Despite the encouragement from many loved ones during my pregnancy with Marvin, I convinced myself I couldn’t handle three under three.
I received so much wonderful advice and encouraging stories about the third being the easiest transition. I told myself they knew nothing of my circumstances. No one could know what horrors I was about to endure.
All that negative Nancy attitude got me was the difficult transition I imagined. The first three weeks with three under three have been spent in fear and anger. Fear to go out on a limb. To take a risk, experience life and the chaos that we have. To enjoy the tears, as they’re inevitable. Anger with toddlers who don’t understand why they’re upset. Anger when people who are only here to help me make one small mistake that effects nothing but my own OCD tendencies.
The worst advice I received was from strangers during my pregnancy, “Wow! Three under three! Well, God will never give you more than you can handle.”
This advice set me in a downward spiral. I was obviously given more than I could handle. I was failing. I very clearly did something wrong, being punished, but that can’t be right because the Bible specifically calls children blessings. God doesn’t give people babies as a punishment. So we’re back to me failing, I’m obviously not doing enough, or making the wrong choice in life somewhere.
Finally, I sat down with my devotions two days ago, and Beth Moore relayed exactly what God needed me to hear. (These quotes will be coming from Beth Moore’s Believing God Chapter 15)
She used Joshua 10, when the five kings of the Amorites bound together to defeat Joshua and the Israelites. They marched all night, surprising the army, and with God promise of a victory on their side, the armies were defeated.
Joshua faced a lot of opposition, the odds were not in his favor. They were outnumbered, they committed to the battle before God promised them victory, they were up all night, and they marched uphill. 4000 foot ascent of rough-terrain marching!
This story is familiar to me. It’s used frequently as a miracle story, usually with the illustration that these men defeat the odds with God on their side. As a mother, wife, and homemaker, I see something a little different. It wasn’t so quick. As a child, I saw the 5 minute battle scene Hollywood gave me. Now I see an all night struggle, an uphill March, sweat, tears, fear, and committing to something before you know everything’s gonna be alright.
Sounds like my life. No, I don’t mean I’m all armored up and sliding a weapon into people’s bodies.
My battle is different. I am outnumbered, I am often up all night, my March feels long, rough, uphill, and I usually have my arms full. I also committed to loving these tiny people no matter the outcome.
These soldiers didn’t get handed a battle field of already slain men upon arrival, they had to work for what they wanted. Sure, they had a promise of victory, but they had to earn it themselves.
“Fighting the good fight of faith takes energy. So do self-pity, anger, un forgiveness, and self-loathing. Decide where to put your energy.”
That was humbling. I have most certainly spent the last three weeks putting my energy into the latter half of those.
The part of the story I never noticed was the verses where God threw large hail stones from the sky, killing more men than the swords of the Israelites.
Then, Joshua realizes the sun will set before the battle is won. He prayed that the sun and the moon would stand still. “The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down a full day.”
“A perfect set up for catastrophic defeat is also the perfect set up for miraculous victory.”
Jeremiah 32:17 “Ah sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.”
Let’s go back to that bad advice. God can, too, give you more than you can handle. I believe God gives us situations that require our all, and sometimes, that’s still not enough. These men were required to give all of themselves. They still only won because they called upon God.
I believe that sometimes, God gives you more than you can handle so that you stop taking credit for the beauty of your life, the hard work you put into it, and look around and say, “I have this because of God.” He gave me these children, these exact little people that He created before I knew what their names would be, and He knew that I could not be their mother without His help. Thank goodness for His grace to redeem my stupidity.
“When God requires much, he’ll do even more.”
“To whom much is given, much is required.” Luke 12:48
Now, looking back at those miracles I never noticed. Hailstones large enough to smash people, and He literally stopped the Earth on its axis.
He required a lot from those men, and He also gave two science-defying miracles.
That is not to say that God answers every prayer with miracles, or with the answer that we predetermined as right. But He does sometimes. He did for Joshua. If only I can remember to pray big prayers and give God the opportunity to give me back big answers.
“You don’t have to do it His way. You can choose bitterness, resentment, carnality, or mediocrity. Or you can go for it with everything you’ve got. You can experience the unmatched exhilaration of partnering in divine triumph. The stakes are high. The cost is steep. But I’ll promise you this: there is no high like the Most High.”
I need His help. Every day. I can only think about the next hour, because much else is too much. And the next hour can only be accomplished with His help. I want to partner in divine triumph.
1 Samuel 7:12 “Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far has the LORD helped us.”
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Hither by Thy help I come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood
I never understood why “ebenezer” was in that hymn, but now I do, and I’m going to go find a rock, set in on my counter top, and when I see it every day, I will remember how I made it to that moment.
“Thus far has the LORD helped us.”
I encourage you to sit down and read her book. You can purchase it HERE