I have an amazing young man in my life. He constantly challenges me and thinks I can never fail. From the moment I found out that God was blessing me with a son, a bond formed that can only be understood by mothers of boys. Jack is all boy and all heart. He is passionate about the truth and making sure that others know who the truth is. And at the tender age of six and half, he has faced the beginnings of what it means to be different.
His ADHD is one thing that has ostracized him from so many of his peers. They can only handle Jack in small doses and even his teacher becomes short with him. Jack comes home frustrated with himself and often makes comments like, “My brain just won’t work right, mom” or “I’m just not the right kid for the job.” As a mother to hear that from her son, it breaks my heart. My husband and I realized awhile ago that Jack was “busy”, but being an educator myself we have implemented behavioral plans at home to help him be productive at home with minimal friction. We haven’t always been successful and now instead of putting Jack on meds, we are going through cognitive training through a company that specializes in helping students with learning and cognitive disabilities. It’s not easy and is quite extensive. Jack goes to tutoring four days a week for an hour and also has about an hour and half worth of work that we need to complete with him during the week. But the thing that amazes me about my sweet boy is he does not gripe or complain about the work. In fact, he loves it! He can’t wait to go see his tutor and get started with his work. When I asked him why he loves it, he simply responds, “Cuz mom, they’re helping me so I can be the best.” He sees the value in what we are doing even at the very beginning stages. Does he know what the outcome will be? Not in great detail, but he realizes that at the end of this period, he’ll be better off than when he started. I am baffled by the wisdom in him. I wonder how often I approach a challenge with the attitude of my son. When I face a difficult situation looking at it not as a hindrance, but rather a chance to become better. To be honest, I rarely look at it with Jack’s positivity.
About two months ago he started to complain of pains in his legs. The pains hurt so bad that it hurt to walk or to sit with his legs crossed. I told him that those were growing pains, that the bones in his legs where getting longer. We even pulled out his jeans from the beginning of the school year to show him how much he has grown. Jeans that once dragged on the ground now look like high waters. We’ve noticed that whenever our kids go through growth spurts three things happen: pain, hunger, sleep. Pain because their bodies must grow due the natural process of life. We can’t stay the same size or in the same state in order to mature. Hunger because as our bodies become bigger, we need more nourishment. What use to satisfy us now barely curbs the appetite. And sleep. We sometimes become so overwhelmed with the growing and the hunger, that our bodies just need to rest and heal.
As I was explaining this process to our small group this morning, God revealed that three things I see our kids go through is the same that we as Christians go through. We go through pain and hardships in our lives, especially when we decide that what this world has to offer is not for us. So we break out of the worldly mold and become set apart. It’s painful because family and friends do not understand why we choose to do what we do when the Lord has called us to follow Him. It’s painful because our sinful nature is what comes to mind first, but as we grow in the Lord, we begin to slough off the sinful skin and move into the covering of Jesus.
We become hungry not for the things of this world, but for more of Jesus. Instead of just being ok with a Sunday morning sermon, our hearts yearn and thirst for the Living Water. When a man realizes that he was dead and yet was brought back to life because of this Jesus, he will go to the ends of the earth to find Him. There is a God-shaped spot in our hearts that we try to fill with everything else of this world, but nothing fits because it’s just not God. As we grow and mature in our walks with Christ, we hunger for more of His presence and His love.
Lastly, we rest. We rest in His mercy and His grace and His overwhelming peace. My pastor made the comment that when we are fully dependent upon God is when are completely free. Now I realize that makes no sense on the worldly level, but think of it in terms of a parent and child. My son trusts that the decision my husband and I made to treat his ADHD is the right choice, thus he is diving into full throttle knowing that at the end of this he will be better off. When I am going through a difficult season, if I would just trust my Heavenly Father as my son trusts us, then my attitude would be so different. I would rest in His peace and dive into whatever He calls me to do, because I know He has my best interest at heart.
This season of training with Jack will have its rocky parts. It will be four months of intensive tutoring and work on top of his normal school and baseball schedule. But at the end of it, we are guaranteed that Jack’s weaknesses will grow into strengths. I’m certain that we will see growing pains during this time, but I am also certain that at the end of this, Jack will be better off in so many more ways than just at school. Perhaps God has you in a growing season. It hurts and yet you hunger for more of His guiding and presence in your life, so that you can rest in His arms. Perhaps you are not walking with God, but you feel the pain in your life and it has you yearning for something that you haven’t found yet which leaves you restless. I invite you to taste and see that the Lord, He is good. If you are ever interested in coming to know the Lord or how to grow in a relationship with Him, I’m here. In the meantime, I’m praying over you.