Being a parent is a consuming job. The unexpected and unplanned for circumstances just keep on coming. In the mess, Christ can become distant.
In Psalm 73, the psalmist had become overwhelmed with the seeming futility of following God. Survival mode had become the norm. He was thinking, “I just can’t do this anymore.” But here is the reality that the crush of daily life can obscure—Jesus is right there with you in the middle of the mess of your life!
Trusting Christ in the mess of life is what gives stability to your soul. He has brought together all of the events, frustrations and demands of your life to point you to him. Jesus is not some distant bystander. He is there with you. He is not watching and waiting for you to do the next wrong thing. No, he is actively interceding for you even when you are not doing well, even when you forget him. The Holy Spirit anticipated your need when the psalmist wrote:
My flesh and my heart may fail…
You see! Christ does know your struggles as a parent. How kind the Holy Spirit is to include these words in this psalm. How many times have you said or thought these words? Scripture is about reality. These words are not words of condemnation or scorn. The Holy Spirit is not chiding you. Rather he is using the real life experiences of the psalmist to encourage you—to give you hope that God is there to be known and loved right now, in the middle of your life. The psalm continues:
… but God is the strength of my heart.
This is reality, even more so than the sense of exhaustion you have when your role as a parent seems more than you can bear. Jesus is with you to give you strength to do what you cannot accomplish on your own. For example, if you hear your voice beginning to rise in exasperation and frustration, Christ is there to give you strength to speak with pleasant words instead of harsh words born of frustration and anger. Christ is there with you in mess.
As the 25th of December rushes upon you, remember the words of reality from this psalm. Don’t be overwhelmed by all that you can’t do or would like to do or give or clean. Be overcome by the reality that Christ is caring for you, loving you— even when he is the last person you are thinking about.
Really, truly, this is the kind of God that he is.