My oldest daughter will turn 10 in June. This weekend, she was telling us how excited she is to be reaching this significant (in her mind) milestone in her life. As we talked, I realized that it seems like just yesterday that she was taking her first steps and saying her first words.
My 7-year-old played two hockey games on Saturday. As I stood in the freezing cold watching her play at the very early hour of 7 a.m., I realized that she was no longer one of the smallest kids on the ice. Sometime in the past four months, she's caught up with several of the boys on her team. She's growing up so quickly.
You often hear parents bemoan the fact that their kids are growing too fast. It's hard to let go of those little girl and little boy years as our kids become tweens and teens. And I don't know about you, but I feel completely under-equipped to deal with being the parent of a tween or teen. Parenting a young child isn't easy, but their needs are pretty basic. Feed them, kiss their boo-boos, make sure they get enough sleep and teach them the basics of faith.
As they get older, though, our kids need so much more from us. They need wisdom, comfort, freedom and answers to some tough questions. As I look ahead, I worry that I won't be up to the task.
Esther felt the same in her situation. She was a fairly young woman who had been thrust into the position of queen. It was up to her to save the entire Jewish population. Speaking could mean her death. Mordecai told her, "For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)
Such a time as this. God has put you in whatever position you're in -- mom of a toddler, preschooler, elementary-school-aged child, tween or teen -- for such a time as this. He chose you to be the parent of your particular child. Whatever challenges and joys you and your child will face, God knew that you would be the perfect person to deal with them with your child.
And, He doesn't expect us to do it alone. God is there to bolster us, offer us wisdom and give us the strength we need for the task. Some stages of being a parent are difficult. We'll face challenges we never dreamed of before we had kids. But, if we rely on God and remember that He put us in this place, at this time for "such a time as this," we can be the parent that our child needs.
As you memorize this verse this week, remember that no matter what situations land in your lap this week, God will help you be ready for "such a time as this."