The Wonder of Christ in You

Parenting can seem
to be a lonely occupation at times—just you, the kids, and the digital clock on
the nightstand. Gone from your memory are the baby showers, first steps,
birthday parties, and adoring friends fawning over your children. Instead, you
are faced with one child who is sick and another one who is whining that he has
no one to play with since his sister is sick in bed (the same sister that has
gifted you with the same cold she has). Your husband is out of town for three
days and it is raining, a cold winter’s rain. Lonely, indeed.

Two thousand years
ago, your brother Paul knelt before his Father and yours and prayed a simple,
profound prayer for you. No, Paul didn’t know you by name, but the Holy Spirit
did. He directed Paul to pray this compassionate prayer for you, because he
knew you would face the loneliness that sometimes comes in a life lived
according to God's priorities. Read these words:

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power
through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts
through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may
have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high
and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses
knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God (Ephesians

These words are
crafted for all times. This prayer is for times when you know the powerful
reality of God’s blessing, and also for times of sorrow, times of testing, and
times of loneliness. Christ dwelling in your heart by faith—it seems almost too
much to ask. But this is exactly the beauty of faith:  it is the gift of God. When you are overwhelmed
by loneliness in the presence of your children, this prayer is for you! God’s
power is available for you through the power of the Spirit. It is not power you
have to generate. It is the Spirit’s awesome power. This power points you to
the love of Christ that surpasses loneliness. This is the same Christ who was
tempted in all things just as you are. He knew the loneliness of being with
those who did not see what he saw. Yet he was faithful to his Father and to
your Father. Think, pray, and know the love of God in the depth of your
loneliness. It is there for you. The cold will pass, both yours and your
child’s. The whining will be transformed to gratitude. Your husband will come
home, and the rain will give way to the warmth of spring. But most importantly,
Jesus Christ will continue to intercede for you so that you will know the
riches of Christ in you, the hope of glory.



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