God Shows Himself Strong

For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. 2 Chronicles 16:9 NIV 1984

I was at my wit’s end.

Of course, in those days, it didn’t take much to get me there. I had two little boys under the age of three and a husband who was rarely home.

Have you ever had one of those moments when you know you just can’t take one more minute? Your circumstances have spun out of control and your emotions are spinning right along with them. In that moment you realize you’re capable of just about anything. Desperation has a way of blurring once clear lines between right and wrong.

This particular night, the boys and I had made it to the end of a very long day. The baby finally slept upstairs, settled in for his last nap of the day before his final feeding and, God-willing, a decent stretch of sleep through the night.  All that remained was to tuck in my two-year-old, and I would have about 20 minutes of peaceful time to myself before my husband came home and wanted my attention.

My son decided he didn’t agree with the plan.

Instead of joining Mommy for sweet stories and prayers in idyllic bedtime ritual, my oldest decided he would pitch a fit—a LOUD fit, complete with kicking and screaming.

Trying to avoid my own angry outburst, I proceeded to reason with my two-year-old. Oddly, he wouldn’t see reason.

My patience waning, my stern voice threatened him with spankings and various other punishments. On he screamed, defiantly pushing me away with flailing wails.

Then suddenly another sound erupted above my head. The baby’s cries now pierced the silence upstairs, competing with his brother to be heard and satisfied.

Anger erupted out of me in a violent wave. I screamed at my son and grabbed him, ready to punish him. I looked at the little boy in front of me, not seeing my beloved firstborn. Instead I saw the cause of all the chaos, and something rose within me that wanted him to pay.  

Anger has a way of bringing out the worst in us.

Thank heaven something else rose up that was even more powerful.

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 1 John 4:4

Stopping mid-stride, I set my screaming child down in a chair and collapsed to my knees, sobbing. I buried my face in my arms on the edge of the chair and began to cry out to my God. It was the first time I had ever stopped to pray right in the middle of a difficult situation.

I cried out desperately for His help, begging for His intervention. I confessed how tired I was and acknowledged I was at the end of my rope. I thanked Him for my children and told Him I didn’t want to hurt either one of them. I had glimpsed the depravity of my flesh and knew I needed something greater than me.

I don’t know how long I prayed. Eventually the words ceased but the sobs remained.

Finally, I began to pull myself together, my motherly instinct reminding me I still had two little boys to care for. As I lifted my head to face my son, realization dawned. The atmosphere in the room had changed. Silence greeted me.

My eyes met my son’s. He sat perfectly still, staring at me with wide eyes. I listened upstairs. Nothing.

My God had quieted the screams of both my babies without a single touch from their mother.

I lifted my son off the chair and hugged him to me. He slipped his little arms around my neck, and I carried him upstairs to bed. After sweet prayers and bedtime kisses, I tucked him in and checked on the baby. I found him sleeping peacefully.

I returned downstairs, dumbfounded. It shocked me to see such evidence of God’s mighty hand in something that seemed trivial in the scheme of things. Crying babies?

But God delights to show Himself strong to those who give Him the opportunity.

For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. 2 Chronicles 16:9 NKJV

I’ve learned to expect God to move on my behalf. You see, Scripture reveals God on the edge of His seat, combing the earth, searching out vessels for whom He can demonstrate His strength.

Dear one, will you turn your heart toward Him and allow His eyes to rest on you?

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