We're on our fourth day of school, and my older daughter is having a great year. My younger daughter and I are still trying to work out the kinks. Much as I would love to tell you that these first few days of homeschooling have been amazing, they haven't been. We've had tears two out of the three days. Yesterday left me wondering if I can do this for a whole year.
Four days into the school year, and I'm exhausted. I have a stack of work that needs to be done, the fish bowl needs to be cleaned, and I'm wondering if I'll ever get more than half an hour a day to myself ever again.
I knew this would be tough. I knew it would be a huge adjustment for both my daughter and me. I even expected the tears and the exhaustion. But I had hoped it would be different. I had hoped it would be an amazing time for both of us. Maybe that time is coming. And maybe it's not. It may be that this year will be a constant struggle for both of us. It may be that we'll struggle for a while to find a rhythm.
I would prefer that it not be that way. I would prefer that we both come out of this year with a newfound attitude and appreciation for what we can accomplish together. I would prefer not to be exhausted all year.
But, here's the thing. Some things that God calls us to do don't come easy. They don't come with the promise of an earthly reward. They don't come with a guarantee that everyone will be happy. The only promise those tough things come with is that God will be with us every step of the way, he will provide the strength to get us through.
I know that if God has called us to do something, then He's going to provide everything we need to get through the moment, the day, the week, the year. He's not going to call us to do something and then abandon us.
He didn't call the Israelites to leave Egypt and then leave them in the middle of the desert. He was there in a cloud of smoke every day and a pillar of fire every night. He didn't call Gideon to fight the Philistine army with 300 men, and then say, "You're on your own." He didn't call Paul to spread the gospel far and wide and then leave him to rot in jail by himself. God went with those men every step of the way, even when Paul's life ended in persecution.
Some of Jesus' last words were to tell us that we would never be alone. Matthew 28:20 says "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." That applies to us today just as much as it applied to the disciples more than 2,000 years ago.
So, if today you find yourself in a situation that is tough, if you're walking a rocky path that you know God has called you to, remember that God is with you. He didn't call you here to abandon you. And if your kids are walking a tough road, one you know God called them to walk, remind them that God is walking there with them.
Things might not always go as we planned, but if we are following God's direction, then we don't have to face it alone.