We have reached a new milestone with our eldest teen entering the restricted freedom of driving! My heart still palpitates as this new era has caused great anxiousness within me. I’m sure all parents can testify to that! We have encountered some bumps and jolts with our expectations versus the perception of our newest family driver. There is one in particular I want to share.
Several weeks ago our expectations came to head contrary to our teenager’s point of view. We…..(mainly me) expressed our concern at the fact…. (again mainly me) we had not received texts to know they reached their destination. It’s true that we could have pinged the cell phone location but that is not what I desired. I wanted, “I’m here” texted to calm my anxious heart. Was that too much to ask?
After several alternating debates, my child brought a different perspective front and center while yelling, “Why don’t you trust?!” It wasn’t “Why don’t you trust ME,” it was “Why don’t YOU TRUST“? It wasn’t an issue of me trusting in the capabilities of our child but trust in general. This child saw right through me and called me on the carpet for it. Sitting dumbfounded with the truth bomb that just exploded before me, my heart ached. I responded back as any parent would with the, “It’s respectful” card and I bit back hard making it more about the “crime” than the truth revealed.
Why did I not trust?
Fast forward a few days later, I spoke with a friend and reflected on how our parents made it through our teenage years without cell phones to rely on. (I mean really, isn’t it just amazing) What did they have that got them through? The answer we came up with was prayer and trust! If I’m being honest, I don’t pray for their safety as they leave my home each morning. I send them off expecting a text letting me know they arrived and then go about my day without worry. It was then the Holy Spirit pressed upon my heart the following:
“Why do you trust a cell phone over me?”
In my thoughts I shared, “It’s convenient and I have the satisfaction of knowing.”
The Holy Spirit pressed back, “If knowing is convenient where does trust in Me come in?”
OUCH! I replaced my trust and prayers with a text/device!! Many say the Lord allowed cell phones for the means and comfort I just argued with my child about. I did. But do they really? Or do they just offer a false sense of security? If we really stop and think about whether or not something were to happen, would they be able to text or call us? It really just depends but more often than not the answer is no. We still would find out one way or another just not from the source we anticipated.
I’m learning that Satan preys on convenience! The more we trust and open ourselves up to the convenience factor, there he is waiting to devour. He replaces and takes something away! It can start with a discipline such as prayer and he replaces it with a device giving the satisfaction and comfort of knowing without it. Having the accessory is not bad. However, it becomes fallacious when we place trust in it over the Sovereignty of God. I get it, times have changed, we can trust and pray as we wait expectantly for our children’s texts or lack thereof. I’ve heard countless times, “Things are not like they were 35 years ago let alone 2000 years.” Yes, but the Lord never changes and neither does His Word. There is no substitute for Him nor His portion of peace!
When we misplace our trust in people, things, jobs, networks, etc. we have to realize they will all disappoint or cause discouragement at one time or another. It’s not a matter of if but when. Some say if you want to look at it that way then God disappoints too. I beg to differ! As I reflect upon past situations/circumstances, it was never He who caused the dissatisfaction but those in whom I placed trust in opposite of Him, myself included. He has always grabbed my hand and guided me through. Even during the most painful and dark times when there was no comprehension to what was going on around me. He just asked me to take his hand and TRUST HIM.
As my children continue walking in and through their teenage years, their dependence on me must decrease and their dependence upon the Lord must increase. I have to let go of things I can’t control outside of my home. I must pray and trust that He will work all things for their good as He has so graciously done for me over the years. Most importantly, I can’t trade prayer and supplication with a device. He makes known all things anything else opposite of Him is a lie.