It was carnage. Shiny brown deposits had been squeezed out like toothpaste leaving a trail of neatly packaged parcels all over the bedroom floor.
But it didn’t stop there. As we picked him up we noticed smears on his clothes and after checking the rest of the house we realised the bedroom wasn’t the only place that had been infected!
Raising kids definitely has its moments. At times the overflowing nappies, relentless sleep interruptions and head splitting screaming can leave you either curled up in the fetal position under the bed covers, or reaching for that second block of chocolate you slipped into the shopping bag while picking up yet another packet of Nurofen.
But the thing that keeps you moving forward when everything is going backwards is the understanding that one day it will be worth it. As your kids finally grow out of nappies and begin to sleep through the night your sanity eventually returns and you start to really enjoy the fruit of your labour.
Just as zooming out and gaining perspective is key to raising a family, it’s also what helps you get through the tough times and last the distance in the journey of life and faith. Although Paul and his friends experienced overwhelming challenges, they found the gumption to keep on going:
‘We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed’ – 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (NIV)
The thing that kept them going was their perspective. They knew that what they were facing was only temporary but that their reward would last forever:
‘We know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us… therefore we do not lose heart. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal’ (14-18)
Sometimes we need to lift our eyes above what is right in front of us. As we lift our eyes towards eternity our hearts are filled with courage to press on through the temporal because we know the rewards are eternal!