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A Whisper of Grace

Amada Crews

January 21, 2024

It had been a particularly long day. It seemed that everything was working against me: From three to four big spills, toys and books strewn about every inch of our home, a mountain of growing laundry overtaking the hallway, and a new crayon drawing added to my daughter’s bedroom wall.  And there was a 2023 toilet paper shortage caused by the hand of our two- year- old who had rolled it out all over our living room in the couple of minutes it had taken me to grab the mail. Let me mention the constant bickering and fighting amongst our three kiddos that had reached a peak for the year. 


I was spent. 


When my four- year- old began to fight his later than usual bedtime, I spoke through gritted teeth, “We aren’t going to do this tonight.” This was our usual dance. Despite the countdown and multiple reminders that bedtime was going to happen in “X” amount of minutes, it would still end in a bedtime battle. And on this specific night, I just didn’t have it in me. 


As he began to scream, kick, and flail, I lost my cool and yelled, “Enough! Get in bed right now!” He stared up at me through his big, blue eyes, and I felt so guilty for not having self-control. 


As I climbed in bed with him for our usual story and prayer time, I apologized. His little hand reached up and cupped my face as he said, “I love you, mommy.” As we laid there in silence, I felt God press two things upon my heart:


  1. “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me” (2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV). Just as my sweet (and sometimes naughty) boy so easily forgave me with a simple apology, God does similarly to us when we acknowledge our wrongdoings to Him and others. Rather than a tiny hand reaching up to cup our faces, God’s mighty hand reaches down and grabs us from the deepest pits of despair when we acknowledge our failures and need for Jesus. Just because we are the parent, doesn’t mean we always get it right. Offering an apology when our behavior is less than pleasing to God, shows our children how to walk in faith, relying on Jesus, admitting that we, too, are less than perfect and need our Holy God to save us. 

  2. I was also reminded that God speaks in a whisper. As I laid there praying through what had happened, God so gently reminded me of Elijah’s encounter with God in 1 Kings 19. Elijah went to Horeb, the mountain of God, and found himself in a cave there. God instructed Elijah to go and stand on the mountain. While there, a great and mighty wind passed by, but the Lord was not in the wind. An earthquake occurred after the wind, but the Lord wasn’t in the earthquake. After that, a fire happened, but God wasn’t in the fire either. Finally, there was a soft whisper. At that moment, Elijah wrapped his face and stood in the entrance of the cave before the Lord. God comes in a whisper. We, too, can emulate God’s whisper with our children by practicing self-control and leading with a soft and gentle hand.  


On the hard days, when we are feeling overstimulated, overwhelmed, tapped out, exhausted, and just plain old grumpy, let us remember that God speaks to us so gently in a whisper of grace. And even when we fail to do that and we lose our self-control, let us remember that despite our title of “Mom” or “Dad,” we still don’t have it all figured out. Because of that, we can boast all the more about our weaknesses, so we can let the light and love of Christ shine through our mistakes to our children.

Parenting isn’t an easy thing, but God can use our children to sanctify us when we humble ourselves and truly try to emulate Jesus. 

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