"I don't know how other people make it, Mom--I mean, people who aren't Christians. Every day, the Holy Spirit gives me just enough grace and light to make it through this day's struggles--just enough to give me hope and strength for this day as I need it. And I sure need it! It's all making so much sense to me," Sarah continued. "If a person tries to be good and live the Christian life on her own strength, she will run out of steam and crash. It can't be done in our own strength. I'm so thankful that I know the grace and forgiveness and freedom of trusting in the Holy Spirit to help me through each day."
In John 15:1-6, Jesus painted a vivid word picture of what it meant for the disciples to have their lives in Him--to be filled with His strength and power through the Holy Spirit. He said, "I am the Vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing" (John 15:5). That's an eternal truth I must take to heart if I want to give our children the gift of faith.
To me as a parent, this "vine" reality has two implications. First, I must do what I can to stay connected to Jesus at all costs. Only when He lives through me will I have the patience, love, faith, strength, perspective, and understanding I need to raise godly, faithful children.
But the other side of this truth is that eventually my children must attach themselves to the Vine, not to me. Only the Lord can draw our children to himself. Only He can give salvation to our children. And only He can convict them of their sins. I can and must love my children, nurture them, comfort them, teach them. I can and must model for them what life as a "branch" looks like, and show them ways to stay "attached" through prayer, Bible reading, fellowship with other believers, and so on. But I cannot be their "vine," and I cannot play the role of the Holy Spirit in their lives."
Ahhhh, how much easier it seems it would be, if I *could* be their vine! If only everything depended upon me, and I could guarantee success or a connection to the Lord for my children through my own devotion.
Then again ... how silly to think that way! Surely I don't really want to bear that burden, and God never intended me to.
Faithfulness. Faithfulness is what is called for in mothers, and even that comes through our dependence upon the Holy Spirit. Jesus talking about the coming Comforter--at least nine times in these chapters--so powerfully before His death assures me that He is necessary and that I must not forget that through Him the promise is fulfilled that I am never without guidance, never without comfort, never without help.
"I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever, that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you."~ John 14:16-17
Take comfort, mama ... it is impossible for you to be alone.