The Right Person For The Job - Devotions for Sacred Parenting
The Right Person For The Job
But now, this is what the LORD says—he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”
IF YOU WERE TO ASK MOST SEMINARY PROFESSORS TO NAME the top ten preachers of all time, on the vast majority of those lists—if not on all—would undoubtedly fall the name Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834–1892), the celebrated Baptist often referred to as the “prince of preachers.” His sermons became so popular his church had to build a tabernacle that could seat the six thousand people who wanted to hear him, and many leading newspapers around the world (Spurgeon ministered in London) printed weekly transcripts of his messages.
And yet in one sermon Spurgeon made an astonishing confession: “I have been lamenting my unfitness for my work.”a
Who could imagine that Spurgeon, one of the most successful ever at his position, could feel inadequate for a task at which he clearly excelled?
And yet I meet many involved and capable parents who feel the same way. “Maybe,” they think, “I’m just not up to the task. Parenting asks of me skills and wisdom and energy I just don’t possess.”
Have you ever been there?
The Great Discourager, Satan, has a way of distracting us with pernicious questions: “Who are you to raise a child? What makes you think that you, of all people, can be a parent? These children would be better off without you!”
Spurgeon found hope in Isaiah 43:1: “But now, this is what the LORD says—he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.’ ”
Spurgeon explains, “I said to myself, ‘I am what God created me to be, and I am what He formed me to be. Therefore, I must, after all, be the right man for the place in which He has put me.’ ”b
God not only created you; he created your children. And he chose to place those children in your home. To doubt any of this is to question the sovereignty of God. Do you think God doesn’t care for your children? Do you imagine your son or daughter to be a mere afterthought who somehow escaped God’s attention? Not a chance! God designed your children, and he placed them in your care.
To win a war, you need to know not only your objective but also your enemy. The ancients didn’t shy away from talking about Satan—as we often do today—and they knew his tactics, chief among them being discouragement. If Satan can’t entice us to neglect our duties, he’ll work overtime to discourage us in them.
If your discouragement stems from perplexity—not knowing what to do—we find comfort in our Savior. Spurgeon said that if God could figure out how to be just and yet save sinners, if he could find a way to declare his war against evil while still forgiving sin, surely he can solve our challenges! There never was, nor ever will be, a problem so perplexing that God’s guidance can’t see us through it.
If we worry about what we lack, financially or in personal abilities, we find comfort in God’s promise: “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32).
Whatever our personal cause of discouragement, God has provided an ironclad cure. Spurgeon observed, “With the bloodstain upon us, we may well cease to fear. . . . How can we be deserted in the hour of need? We have been bought with too great a price for our Redeemer to let us slip. Therefore, let us march on with confidence.”c
The stakes you face as a parent are much too great to go unnoticed by a God who loves you and your children so much that he didn’t spare his own Son in his zeal to redeem you. The God who did that is the God who watches over you now, the same God who inspired Spurgeon to offer this sermon more than a hundred years ago and who inspired you to pick up this book to hear these words anew.
You are the right person for the job, because God himself has assigned you the task. And he is committed to seeing you through.
In the end, that’s all we need to know.
Heavenly Father, thank you for choosing us and placing our children under our care. Help us to take comfort in your sovereignty and to know that you would never assign to us a task without giving us all that we need to complete it. Protect us from Satan’s discouragement, and give us hope that you will bless our children as we seek to honor you. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Questions for Reflection
1. What do you feel you lack most as a parent? Time? Money? Wisdom? Energy? Something else?
2. How can reminding yourself of God’s sovereignty—that he put your children into your care—encourage you in your task?
3. List two or three positive reasons for why you think God might have wanted you to raise your particular children. How has he uniquely gifted you to bless these children with their particular needs?
a . Charles Spurgeon, Joy in Christ’s Presence (New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 1997), 103.
b . Ibid.
c . Ibid., 111–12.