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The Word for Today

by Bob and Debby Gass

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‘Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us.’ 2 Corinthians 4:17 NKJV

Contrary to what you may think, the ideal environment for your children is not one that’s devoid of problems and trials. Though it’s hard to accept at the time, your children need the minor setbacks and disappointments that come their way. How can they learn to cope with problems and frustrations as adults, if their early experiences are totally without them? Nature tells us this. A tree that’s planted in a rain forest is never forced to extend its roots downward in search of water. As a result, it remains poorly anchored and can be toppled by even a moderate wind. By contrast, the mesquite tree that’s planted in a dry desert is threatened by its hostile environment. How does it survive? By driving its roots down ten metres or more into the earth, seeking for water. By adapting and adjusting to harsh conditions, the well-rooted tree becomes strong and steady against all assailants. Our children are like these two types of trees. Children who have learned to conquer their problems are better anchored and better able than those who have never faced them. So your task is not to eliminate every challenge your child faces. Rather, it’s to serve as a confident ally on their behalf, encouraging them in their distress, intervening when the threat becomes overwhelming, and being available when the crisis comes. You need to give them the tools with which to handle the inevitable problems and pressures of life. Paul expresses it this way: ‘For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us.’ Bottom line: we are trained by our troubles.

SoulFood: 2 Chr 22–24, Lk 17:1–10, Ps 119:121–128, Prov 22: 4–7

The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2024

The Word for Today

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