Monday, March 24, 2008
I had to buy some training wheels for a bike for Sammy the other day. Don't get me wrong, I already had two sets of training wheels in the garage. We had one set on JoHanna's bike and one on Michaela's old bike, now ridden by David (formerly Yoftahe), we didn't have any training wheels to throw on the bike that some friends very generously donated to us for Sammy. He and JoHanna were sharing her bike, but that wasn't always peaceful. But who in the world keeps three sets of training wheels in their garage? Well, I guess, for now, I do!
I got to thinking a little bit about training wheels and the first thought that came to mind was that I felt like an experienced parent who should be able to "ride" the parenting role pretty comfortably. But when you throw in multiples, not much previous exposure to discipline of any sort, and a language barrier that is frustrating them even more than it is frustrating us, somehow, this time around seemed very different from the first five. Training wheels - that's what I need - training wheels for parents. Praise God, He is more than that for us. He supports us and when we don't have the balance to keep moving forward, he sustains us with his mighty hand. We still feel like we fall a lot and some days we feel pretty beat up by it, but we are so grateful for the sustaining strength of God's loving arms - our training wheels for now.
It wasn't but a couple of days later that David found himself complaining that his training wheels were still letting his bike lean too much. They weren't making things as easy as he wanted them. That sounds familiar right now as well. When the boys have nightmares (something that's happened about three or four times since we've had them), I sometimes wish God's sustaining arms would put them back to sleep so I can get rest instead of having to sit on the floor with them for an hour or so until they fall back asleep. He is so powerful and can communicate His love despite any language barriers. In fact, if there ever was a good time for the gift of tongues, where it could edify those who speak and those who understand, this would have to be an optimal time - yet he lets us struggle through the communication process. We knew it wouldn't all be easy and some days we wish it were easier than it is. But I guess that's the way training wheels are supposed to work. Because the very next day, we took off the training wheels and David took off on his bike, without any supports at all. My analogy falls apart here a little, because we will never not need God's support and sustaining power. But it is worth noting that we grow stronger in our faith the more God allows those tough things to come at us and to be overcome in His power.
Can God make His Glory known in training wheels? Well, yes. But He is proving Himself to be worthy of our trust and He is keeping us upright as we learn to ride this parenting bike all over again.