18–24 August 2019.
Children can be a wonderful blessing. Even though in ancient Israel’s culture people especially valued sons, today we know that all children are worthy of love and can be a great source of joy.
But just because children bring blessings and joy, that doesn’t mean raising a family is easy. When children come into a couple’s relationship, life changes. Yes, there is the excitement, adventure, and happiness that a new baby brings. But suddenly there are also many more responsibilities, challenges, and burdens too. Love always brings with it fear and worries. And for parents, the older children get, the greater those worries become.
The writer of Psalm 127 knew this, and so he especially wanted to give a message of hope and encouragement to all parents. Even though the challenges of family and parenthood can lead to lots of worry and stress, the good news is that parents don’t have to face those worries alone. Instead, God supports us as we raise our families.
Verses 1–2 really focus in on the main pressures that parents face at home: the pressure to work long and hard to support our families financially, and the anxiety of being able to provide our families with food and safety. So many of us parents feel trapped in anxiety, feeling like no matter how much we work, the money is never enough. And no matter how many future plans we make or how hard we try to prepare against unexpected problems, we still can’t protect our families from every disaster that comes. Day after day we try as hard as we can to do the impossible, but we exhaust ourselves with work and worry because even the very most we can do never feels like enough.
But it’s to anxious parents that this psalm brings good news: In raising a family, we don’t need to depend on our own strength alone. God is the great provider, and God is the one who truly helps us establish a family and a home. God offers us his strength and care, and he invites us to depend on him. When we do that, when we place our trust and the final wellbeing of our family into God’s hands, then we get set free from the destructive cycle of overwork and over-worry. Trusting in God we can finally find peace, and know the truth of his wonderful promise, that: “God gives rest to his loved ones” (v. 2).
I pray that all parents today will find this deep rest, knowing and trusting that they and their families are loved and supported by God .
Pastor Stephen Lakkis