By the time my oldest child was two I had already begun scouring parenting books because everything I thought I knew about parenting a child had failed. My daughter with her big blue eyes and rosy cheeks had captured our hearts but she often held me captive if you know what I mean. Even within a few hours of birth at the hospital I knew we might be up against something as my mother rocked her in the chair by my bed and my daughter raised her head and turned to look at everything around the room. Newborns weren't supposed to be able to do this, I knew this girl was something special.
As the terrible twos approached my mother's neighbor gave me a popular parenting book. She thought it might address some of the struggles I was facing. It was a book about strong willed children. In the book, the author described strong willed children as being "the most". They tend to be the most happy, the most sad, the most angry, the most afraid, the most shy, the most (fill in the blank)...Eureka! Someone identified everything I was experiencing and it felt nice to know I wasn't alone. The rest of the book offered strategies and wisdom for raising these kids who are the most. I found the book helpful although it wasn't until a few years later that I realized I had to rely fully on the Lord to have any hope with my children and my marriage.
We have a lot of things in our life that are "the most". There is a class in school that is the most challenging. The most annoying neighbor or co-worker is always fun. We often worry about the most expensive bill we have to pay. Sometimes the doctor tells us the diagnosis we have is the most challenging. Most isn't always better like a trite yearbook superlative, "Most Likely to Succeed". Sometimes the most is the worst.
As I meditate on this word, "most", I am reminded of the phrase often used to address or describe God in the Bible. Some 25 times He is referred to as, "God Most High" or the "Most High God". Many of the people groups in the Bible, including the Jews some times, were believers in many gods. I believe God wastes no detail in His word and describes Himself this way to say that no matter what we see around us, no matter where we think we might place our trust and faith, HE and He alone is THE MOST. God is above all worldly knowledge, relationships and provision.
In Genesis 14, the priest Melchizedek (a type and shadow of Christ) who comes to bless Abram, a patriarch of the faith, gives him this blessing:
Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
Possessor of heaven and earth;
and blessed be God Most High,
who has delivered your enemies into your hand!
I believe God was letting Abram know that He is not only owner and overseer of all things but that He would also deliver Abram from all things. Later, Abram acknowledges God's name of Most High by giving to Him and giving thanks.
We tend to focus on the things that are the most in our lives. For me, I worried and wondered how I would raise my most strong willed child. Whatever is the most captures our hearts and attention. I believe God wants us to remember He is the most and like Abram, He will be the source of blessing and deliverance from the things that hold us captive. Even the demon who possessed the man in Mark 5 recognized and called Jesus "the son of the most high God". If even the demons recognize God as the most, so should we.
Psalm 53:1-3 is the perfect prayer today if you are overcome and overwhelmed:
Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,
for in you my soul takes refuge;
in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,
till the storms of destruction pass by.
I cry out to God Most High,
to God who fulfills his purpose for me.
He will send from heaven and save me;
he will put to shame him who tramples on me. Selah
God will send out his steadfast love and his faithfulness!
Remember He is the Most High above, in, around, over and through all things, today and always.