"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion & the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) A daily devotional especially intended to offer compassion to other challenged parents of kids with special needs. Visit our home page at www.snappin.org!
Pattern yourselves after me [follow my example], as I
imitate and follow Christ (the Messiah).
1 Corinthians 11:1, AMP
So imitate me, watch my ways, follow my example, just as I,
too, always seek to imitate the Anointed One.
1 Corinthians 11:1, VOICE
Whether you know it or not, YOU are a leader.Aside from being a continual model for your
children, others have their eyes on you as well. From our family members to neighbors, coworkers, and friends, we can be caught off guard discovering that others have latched onto something that they have seen or heard in us.
Yet, this is a common occurrence because humans seek belonging. Everywhere we look, people are trying to fit in or follow the latest trend. Those fads begin with merely one person following another. Is it any wonder that the word "sheeple" has become a popular way of describing the blindly mimicking masses over the past decade?
The question thus becomes, WHERE ARE YOU LEADING THEM?
I often joke that all of my best ideas are stolen. I have friends who I admire for their gift of organization. I have imitated some of their habits. Others have a gifted sense of fashion. With my limited resources, I occasionally replicate some of the simple style I see them putting together that I could never come up with on my own. Still others have a good grasp on alternative therapies that are working well for their children. I often replicate these in my own home as I find new ways to help my children. While each of these things can be pleasant or useful, serving a positive purpose in our lives, I want to be known as more than the friend with a good recipe or lifehack to imitate.
After all of my self-deprecating humor dies, and whatever talent I may enjoy fades away, I want to be known as the leader who points people to JESUS. When the valleys seem too deep and too dark, I want to be the one known for cheering others on, guiding them forward, and saying, "We can do this with God's help!" At times when discouragement and loneliness are at their greatest, I want to be known as the one who reminds others what infinite worth and boundless love they possess because of their Maker. I want others to see me as just the dumb, obedient pencil God chooses to do some of His writing, realizing that if He can use someone like me, He can use them too.
Whether I am leading my children, my extended family, volunteer teams, board members, or other parents with struggles, the destination is always the same.
The other day I was surprised by one of my chattering teens describing to me how God had broke open some of His word to her with fresh revelation. She was so impassioned, talking so fast, it was hard to get a word in as I smiled ear to ear. As she drew her joyful prattle to a conclusion, she exclaimed, "Mom, I never knew I could enjoy reading my Bible as much as I am right now!"
What music that was to this mother's ears!
While I have no desire to sound boastful, I will say that I am hoping all those years of watching me dig into God's word in the early morning had some impact. They say that faith is more caught than taught. I tried to lead more by example than by any other means of imparting biblical truth to my kids. I have never stopped praying for each of them to own their faith, stand strong in spiritual battles, and make good, godly choices. My heart is that they would know Jesus intimately as their friend.
By no coincidence, my reluctant leadership of others looks much the same. I am perfectly imperfect, but infinitely loved by an awesome God. In my clumsy obedience to the Lord, I pray that people see me walking through my deepest valleys with an unusual joy and godly perseverance. I hope that others would catch the vision we have for reaching other parents just like me. I pray constantly for the parents I serve, our volunteers, donors, and others we touch -- that they might each know the Jesus I do -- as the Hope beyond hope.
Parent, YOU are a leader, whether you realize is or not. May we all be leaders worthy of following, not because of anything special in us individually, but because of WHO we are following and WHERE we are pointing.
PRAY: Jesus, keep my eyes fixed on You so that I might reflect Your goodness and glory to everyone around me with increasing measure. When they follow me, may they ultimately be following You, worthy Savior.