The Gift of Determination

It took over 10,000 attempts before Thomas Edison was able to invent the light bulb. He was a determined fellow.

George Muller cared for thousands of orphans while keeping to his convictions of only letting his needs be known to God and not going in debt. He was a determined (and extremely faithful!) fellow.

William Wilberforce worked for twenty years to help abolish the slave trade. He was a determined fellow.

I don’t want to undermine God working through these people towards his will, but I want to make a point, they didn’t give up easily. They were determined. Many things can not be accomplished without a heaping dose of determination and God using that determination.

I am a mother blessed with a very determined little boy. He often works on a problem for a while before getting discouraged or until he solves it. Most of the time though, his determination comes as a challenge to me. Oh, how that boy can be stubborn!

After working for more then two hours on a specific discipline issue, I was feeling very discouraged. He had exhausted both Mark and I as we took turns working with him.

It was then I came across this poem. I had opened a brand new book we got for our Children’s library. (Opening the package I received seemed like a lovely little break)

What God Hath Promised
~by Annie Johnson Flint
God hath not promised
Skies always blue,
Flower-strewn pathways
All our lives through.
God hath not promised
Sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow,
Peace without pain.

But God has promised,
Strength for the day,
Rest for the labor,
Light for the way,
Grace for the trials,
Help from above,
Unfailing sympathy,
Undying love.

No one said parenting was easy. Actually, I’m sure someone has, but I’d venture to say that person/those people are fools. Parenting isn’t easy.
We will pour more then we have, and only what God can provide, into these children. We will be ridiculed, mocked, and stretched. I can think of no greater way to get exhausted day after day then doing the work God has given me. Working to raise one of his children into a Godly man.
Our children won’t be perfect. They are made in God’s image, but are of a flawed nature. The wonderful attributes of God come with cons when they are in a fallen nature. Determination is an example. With God’s guidance and double scoops of patience Mark and I hope to culture this stubbornness into determination and fire for God.
Here’s to the other Moms out there who feel like their days are spent butting heads. Remember it is a sinful, childish, form of determination. Praise God for the fire in your child and pray that he will help you in the day to day task of raising a stubborn little one into a determined on-fire man or woman for God.Update: We talk to Christopher often to remember to use his “fire” to help him do the right thing when he does not want to, instead of doing the wrong thing when the consequences are not fun. This really helps!