Youth & Family Devo: “Feeling the Pressure”: Being a Parent or Student at Home Right Now

13 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”

14 The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”

Judges 6 :13-14

 Gideon had a lot to feel overwhelmed about, can you relate? These were overwhelming times for the Israelites and they weren’t responding spiritually during the times of Judges. In Judges 21:25 it says: In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit” and on top of that they had been suffering at the hands of the Midianites for many years! It was a time of fear, chaos, and anxiety for sure.

Right now parents are dealing with the pressure of being a parent, a teacher, a life coach, spiritual guides, emotional support, and lets not forget still having their own jobs that many are expected to do remotely all while still being a supportive spouse and having a great marriage! This is a lot of pressure and no one can do any one of these perfectly let alone all of them!

Right now Teens are also feeling all the pressure to navigate through how much work they need to keep up with, figuring out how to establish a “system” when everything is changing day-to-day, adjusting to a completely new way of learning, and fighting for clarity amidst the chaos, not to mention staying grounded spiritually and getting time to connect with their friends! This can cause some anxiety, frustration and even isolation as their “emotional bandwidth” goes down over the course of the day. I spoke to one of our teens in our ministry just the other day and he expressed to me how overwhelming and confusing things can be in terms of keeping up with school obligations. It made me think about how much pressure all students must be feeling, how much pressure the parents must be feeling, and how much pressure the teachers at this time must be feeling.

So, what can we do in the face of all this pressure?

“Go in the strength you have”

(Judges 6:14a)

God’s answer to Gideon is his answer to us: Go on the strength you have! You can’t give more than you have. Everyday all you need is to go on whatever strength you have even if that’s less than you would like or normally have. Do you feel like your at 10% capacity right now? Give 100% of that 10% and let people around you know that you are only at 10% to be clear, God is not saying that we should not care or do nothing, but I don’t think that is our problem. I think our problem is all the pressure we put on ourselves or we allow the world to put on us to be “SuperDad”, “SuperMom”, “SuperStudent”, or “SuperTeacher”. Don’t be so hard on yourself, don’t try to keep up with this family or that family, this teen or that teen, do the best you can with the strength you have and if you feel like it’s “not enough” let God do the heavy lifting. He will if we let him! During this unprecedented time all we can do is the best we can do and give whatever we have to give each day, it will be enough with God.

“Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.
Matthew 17:20

All we need everyday is just a mustard seed of faith. I believe Jesus is saying here “go on the faith you have”, just like God told Gideon to go on the strength he had. Just a little bit of faith is all we need knowing God is going to do the heavy stuff like the throwing of the mountains into the sea. Take the pressure off yourself, be kind and loving to yourself, your kids, your parents, your teachers, everyone. We all need it now. Right now it’s important that we are embracing God’s grace for ourselves and extending more grace than ever to each other. These are challenging times, but God can do so much with so little. In fact, that is when he is most glorified! Gideon didn’t have to worry, God won the battle, all he had to do was go in the strength he had.

Do the best with the strength you have and let God do the rest.

Practical: Pray through all the ways you need God to do the heavy lifting during this time then take one step back and let him.


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