When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you...
Mothers and Isaiah 43:1-3a
When God made this promise, Israel had literal images to look back to: God parted the waters so that they could pass through on dry land and, thus, escape from their Egyptian pursuers.
Also, they new the story of Noah. I Peter 3:20-21 tells us, "...in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. And corresponding to that, baptism now saves you -- not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience -- through the resurrection of Jesus Christ."
As mothers of children, we can relate to passing through water because of the "rivers" of responsibility we feel with so much to do and so much to take care of.
What is that commercial saying? "Life comes at you fast?" Sometimes, the rhythm of life makes us feel "swept away". Our lives are so incredibly full of blessings and tasks, good times and challenges, that it all just moves us right along, as if on a swiftly moving current. We look back and wonder where the time went. Our precious baby is now a toddler, and our toddler is now in grammar school and so forth, until our child is grown.
The very brand new mother is especially prone to feeling this. She is up nursing baby during the night, and she changes a countless diapers during the day. She enjoys the time with your beautiful baby. At the end of a day, however, when someone asks her what she did with her day, she's hard pressed to think of exactly what she accomplished.
Here's where some reassurance is helpful: New Mother, if you loved God and your husband and your baby, your day was meaningful!! As the baby grows, you'll be able to add back in some other tasks over the next few weeks and months.
I think the second busiest time of childrearing is when you have one or more preteens in your home. Preteens, by definition, are somewhere between children and adolescents, and they have many needs. This is when they have one foot in adulthood and one foot in childhood. This can be a really fun time in parenting. (I found that each stage of childrearing has its own joy.) However, it is also a time when our children need a lot of love and attention -- not to mention taxiing here and there! It can be a time when are prone to feeling "swept away".
Again, God promises that he will be with us in the rivers of life and mother. The waters of responsibility will not overflow us or sweep us away, he says. He won't give us so much that we flail along in the currents. If we are mindful of his presence in our lives, our hours and days will be rich, full, and satisfying. We will be able to concentrate on the moment at hand, rather than letting our mind race to the next thing that needs to be done. We can enjoy each stage of our children's growing up.
Luke 2:19 tells us Mary treasured up all the wondrous events surrounding Jesus' birth and early years. Of course, her situation was a little different than ours, and she was absorbing the great truth that her son was the Messiah and the son of God. Nonetheless, bearing or bringing any child into our home is an amazing experience. To watch our child grow up gives us many opportunities to ponder beautiful moments and store away wonderful memories. As we pass through the waters of daily life with God, we have much to be thankful for and to rejoice in. Taking note of those blessings and filing them away in our memory will keep us from having that "swept along with the tide" feeling.
Similarly, careful planning combined with a flexible attitude helps us to pass through the waters without being overwhelmed. Planning best begins by submitting our schedule to the Lord, so that He can walk us through the waters.