Back this summer, a baby deer wandered into our neighbor’s yard. At first I refused to go to their house because I knew if I saw it, I would want to keep it. I love animals, especially baby animals. But after a short time I couldn’t stand it any more so down the road I went.
We immediately knew something was wrong. The little buck appeared to be blind. He kept wandering around aimlessly, bumping into things, and getting hung up in vines. We were all very worried because there are fox and coyotes were we live, so we knew his chances of survival without his mother were very slim.
A rescue team was quickly put together and a plan was formed. One went for a bottle and formula while the others stayed back and kept a close eye on the baby. Let me tell you, NOTHING was going to get to that baby.
We worked hard to get the deer to drink the milk. When it was over, the deer was covered in milk, we were covered in milk; even those not involved in the feeding had milk on them.
We all knew that the best possible scenario for the little buck was for his mother to come back and get him, but we worried that she wouldn’t so we decided to put him in the dog kennel overnight to keep him safe. We put hay down and made him a comfortable bed, but he was very restless and would not bed down. A few hours later, Robert, the main rescuer, made a tough call. He felt that the deer needed to be returned to area where he was found in hopes that his mother would come get him. It was the right thing to do, but it was so hard because we didn’t know what the outcome would be.
I worried about that deer all night. The thought of anything happening to him almost drove me crazy. But I also knew that if we kept him, the chances of him surviving once released would not be very good. Our helping would actually do more harm than good. As I thought about that, I realized that the same could be true with those we love…especially our children. Sometimes, helping has the opposite effect. Sometimes helping actually cripples. Sometimes, the best help we can give is to stand aside and let them wrestle the problem out for themselves.
As mothers, one of the hardest things to do is to do nothing. It is against our very nature. We are wired to protect. It is in our nature to fix things. But sometimes, the process of surviving a trial is of greater worth than being protected from the trial. The trials are often what God uses to mold and shape our children into strong men and women of faith.
James 1:2-4 says, “Consider it all joy, [mothers], when [your children] encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of [their] faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that [they] may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing…”
Trials are necessary. Without them, our children won’t grow in their faith. God uses trials to restore our children to Him. He uses trials to train them to trust Him, to hear His voice, or to increase their faith. If we constantly step in to cushion the blow or fix the issue, we hinder what God in His sovereignty is trying to accomplish in the lives of our children. And when we interfere, we leave our children defenseless and unprepared for future trials that will come.
James goes on to say in verse 12, “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”
When we allow our children to learn the spiritual discipline of perseverance, we actually equip them for life. When they learn the discipline of perseverance, they learn to do more than just “hang on” during life’s storms. Hanging on is simply enduring, but persevering is different. Persevering is enduring a storm all the while knowing with absolute certainty that God is in control and that He can be fully trusted.
God will not allow them to endure more than they can bear. We can rest in the full knowledge that He knows exactly what He is doing and that His protection over them is far superior to any protection we could give.
One of the prayers that I often pray is, “Lord, don’t let me interfere with what You are doing in my child’s life. Help me to trust You, no matter what.” It’s a tough thing to pray and at times it too requires perseverance on my part, but I know with certainty that my God can be fully trusted.
By the way, the mama did come back for her baby and we see the two together every now and then.
Have a great week!
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