setting them up for success

I went to the bank to cash Christmas checks my kids got from their grandfather. The teller looked at me like I was crazy when I asked for each check to be broken down into certain, specific increments. Why complicate it that way? Because I wanted each child to have, readily available, the exact bills needed in order to tithe. They would do so anyway, but it would be much more complicated. Tim and I would be frantically trying to make change and come up with the necessary amounts ten minutes before church started. It would be chaos, so I decided to take things into my own hands and simplify the process.

Driving home, I was thinking about the ways in which we, as parents, try to equip our children for success. If we want our children to carry down their dirty laundry, we have to give them laundry baskets and a deadline. If we want our family to eat healthy, we have to have appropriate foods available, easy to get to, and already prepared. Sometimes I have to do similar things for myself. In order to make sure I will read and study the Bible, I have to put it in front of me. I moved a big soft chair into my office and spread out my lovely, shiny new concordance and my study Bibles. When they’re sitting on my shelf, I don’t remember to use them. But now, every time I walk into my office, I see before me a cozy, comfy spot that already has everything I need. All I have to do is sit down. I don’t do it often enough, but it’s all there for me when I am ready.

Just as we take care of our kids, God wants to take care of us, to give us every opportunity to succeed. He has already given us every single thing we need, as He’s done throughout time – He provided manna in the wilderness; He put a lamb in the bushes for Abraham to sacrifice; and He prepared a manger to receive a very special baby. And He instituted the dispensation of grace, knowing that we would never be able to meet all the requirements of the old laws – and declaring that we didn’t have to. Showing His wisdom, knowing our weaknesses, He took matters into His own hands. He stepped off His heavenly throne and came to us in the form of a tiny infant, then allowed those very same hands to be nailed to the cross. He rose again to show us nothing more is required. There is nothing else for us to do. It’s not about our ability to do the job. We can’t. But we don’t have to. He took the burden off of our shoulders and set everything
in place. Our part of the job is simple. All we have to do is say. “Thanks for your help, Daddy. I couldn’t do it without you.”

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