“A deus ex machina literally ‘god from the machine’ is a plot device in which a person or thing appears ‘out of the blue’ to help a character to overcome a seemingly insolvable difficulty.”
I have a teenager. Enough said. End of sentence. No explanation needed. Everyone who has raised a teenager, everyone who is in the midst of raising a teenager and everyone who has ever been a teenager knows exactly what I am saying. There are moments of great pride and elation combined with days of despair, worry and angst. The teen years are a complicated ride for everyone involved.
For a parent the teenage years can best be described by quoting Tigger who once bounced up a tree. In his angst about getting back down he called out, “Oh, well, please, for goodness’ sakes, narrate me down from here.” But the reality is that life goes on in the midst of it all and whether we are narrated out of the tree or climb down ourselves life continues outside of the tree. I keep waiting for the deus ex machine of life to whisk my teenager safely through the these years and into adulthood.
Life is full of ups and downs whether it is kid stress, relationships, financial problems, or loss there are moments in which we all are looking around the corner for our very own deus ex machine. Like when you are sitting at the kitchen table with stacks of bills and the money has dried up. The moments when the phone rings and the voice on the other side of the phone line steals your breath away and changes your future forever.
The hours when on your knees doesn’t quite express the gravity of your prayers and you find yourself face first on the floor sucking carpet fibers while blowing snot bubbles in between weeping gasps. Have you been there? You know when you hear words that suddenly seize your strength and you fall to the ground in despair. Maybe you are tougher than that and you’ve been there but you simply were braver than me.
Some news hits you harder than others. In the depth of the grief it can be hard to imagine a new day in which these experience will have strengthened you. In the heart of the storm it is difficult to see the brightness of the future. But, this I know, whether God uses this opportunity of crisis to change you or even if He grants you a deus ex machine in which the ultimate Narrator narrates you down – always, and I mean always – there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
We have all read stories of restoration, recovery and hope. Some days when I’m feeling blue watching my heart walk outside of me in my teenage child it is the hope of others’ stories that lifts the elephant off my chest and allows me set my worries at the feet of Jesus. With the courage I find while prostrate at His feet I find the strength necessary to get off my knees and live out each day moment by moment. Some days I need to rest often in my Father’s arms and other days I feel His gaze upon me as life live within His shadow.
On the really hard days when I am overwhelmed I think of what Christopher Robin said to Winnie the Pooh, “If there’s ever a tomorrow when we’re not together, there’s something you should remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart, I’ll always be with you.”
Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” In Him we are complete and there will never be a day when we are apart. He invites come to Him with our burdens and He promises to give us rest.
I have found that as the mother of a teenager I must rest in His promises and find my rest in Him.