Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Mothers and Meekness

Photo image courtesy of Michelle Patrick©
"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." Matthew 5:5 NKJV


At this time of year I frequently find my heart in the fifth chapter of Matthew,  usually reading and focusing on the following verses:
"You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house."

Matthew 5:14,15 NKJV
There may be no verses that are more God-breathed for the soul of a parent sending their child out into the world, especially a parent whose child faces difficult circumstances. What a base of comfort and stability that we have to set our children on. A firm foundation that can not be shaken, an incredible place from which a light emanates, purposed to dispel even the darkest of nights. 

Every time I send my son to school, my heart beats those verses.

There is a bold and brave feeling to the notion and words, that I am "setting him out to shine his light," but so often there is nervousness and uncertainty in the actions, in the doing. You see, "setting him out there to shine" sounds lovely when you say it, the imagery to the untrained eye, ear and heart is beautiful. But those of us who have lived it know it is a story so often written in heartbreak, grief, struggle and strife.  

It is only with time and a growing of faith in what God says, that we begin to see the bigger picture and start to exchange beauty for the ashes...
"To appoint to them that mourn in Zion, to give to them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified."  Isaiah 61:3 NIV
As we settle into what we know, we can see what it means for them to truly shine.  We can also see every mountain and valley of our path trailing out behind us, for many of us it was a journey of struggle, desperation and we are worn from the trip. Many of us have fought for every step that we have taken, that our children have taken, its what we do and we are tired. Beautifully tired from the fight.

There is this verse, these words spoken by Jesus...

"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."

How are we supposed to be "meek" when we have to struggle and fight for our children? The meek may inherit the earth, but will they inherit a well written and implemented IEP? (For those of you who may not know that is and Individualized Education Plan, a legal and binding document that is intended to guarantee our children a Free and Appropriate Public Education, this is also known as FAPE and we fight for this constantly.)

I stopped on those words recently as I was reading through the fifth chapter of Matthew... The word "meek" caught me off guard and kind of stuck in my head, well maybe more so in my heart... There was nothing about being "meek " that sounded like it would possibly relate to being the parent of a child that struggles with school, a child that does not communicate and interact with the world around him in a typical fashion.

I don't have time for meekness, at least not worldly meekness, the type of meekness that implies you will be trampled on and can not speak up for yourself. In fact as parents of children in need of services and inclusion we strive to be exactly the opposite.

Then I wondered if maybe I didn't really understand what it means, maybe I didn't know what biblical meekness referred to.

Maybe I should know.

I should know that Jesus was the most incredible example of that type a meekness. He was a strong example of a gentle spirit strengthened by knowledge of His Father's love and purpose. Jesus saw the big picture, the need and he knew the plan. Because of this understanding he was able to conduct himself with a spirit of humility, of quiet strength drawn from that knowledge of a greater purpose.

It takes great discipline to stand up for our children with a spirit of gentleness and humility, especially when we know that we are right and we have been conditioned over the years for fighting.

The earth if filled with amazing examples of the image of God. Some of those examples are sitting across from us in meetings, some are providing therapy for our children, teaching them, or crossing paths with them in our community, and they are walking their path. A path that may be just as wearing and incredible as the one we have found ourselves on.

As frustrating as some circumstances may be, especially when we take those steps back to school, lets remember that "the meek will inherit the earth" and, by the grace of God, a well written and implemented IEP.

Oh Dear Heavenly Father, you are the director of our steps and the creator of our paths, a guiding light shining throughout existence. I pray that you fill us and our children with your presence so that we can step forth in humility, grounded firmly on a lampstand that will allow us and our children to fulfill your purpose. God we want to shine. So please hold fast in our hearts the knowledge that those frustrating circumstances and people that we encounter also have a purpose. We may not always see the big picture and understand your plan but Father we have faith that whatever it may be is created by you and God that is good. Hold tightly to our precious children as we set them out into the world. In Jesus name I pray. Amen

~Beth

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