Before he could say words, he would fold his tiny fingers, bow his blond head, squeeze his eyes shut and pray with us.
We have taught him who God is and we have read the Bible. There has been VBS, Sunday school, devotions and teachable moments throughout his 11 years. He has given his heart to the God who spoke the world into existence, sent a flood to make it clean, gave us His precious Son as a tiny baby, and who after three-days, conquered death.
He’s amazing, isn’t He? Magic even.
But now, his prayers are taking their own shape. He is living and experiencing new things. He is seeing God in his own life, not just ours. There are beautiful moments, but there has also been hurt, confusion, questions in the midst of hardship, and a longing for that amazing God to show up for him.
And he asks me, “Why would God let this happen? I don’t understand.”
Through crocodile tears (and a bit of drama) he cries, “Does God hate me?”
Oh. My. Heart. My sweet little guy holds it. From the day I first held him in my arms, I was convinced, in wonderful and magical ways, that God had given me tangible evidence of His own great love. I would lay down my life for this boy. In. A. Heartbeat.
How do I prepare him for the fact that God is not some magical genie? Our wish is not His command. How do I wrap 11-years-of-life around thousands-of-years of promises?
I don’t. I remind him, over and over, that thousands-of-years of promises are wrapped around his life. And mine. And yours.
God doesn’t always move the way we want Him too. He still moves.
He doesn’t show up in the places with think He should. He is always there.
You’ll wonder why you can’t hear Him and you’d wish you could see Him. He sees you.
There will be hurt and things we can’t understand. God gets it and He loves you so much.
I tell him, that I would gladly take the hurt. I would walk the path of difficulty for him. If I could wrap my arms around him and make it all better, I would do it – every single day. But don’t you see, sweet boy, God already has. He has taken your hurt, He has walked your path, and ever single day, your life is better for it.
And then, at bedtime, in a dark and quiet room. “Mom, can I ask you something?”
“Sure, Baby, what is it?”
“Sometimes, when I pray, it feels like I’m the only one in the world and God is just listening to me. Is that selfish?”
Against the lump in my throat, I whispered. “No, it’s not selfish. He listens that way because He cares that much about what you have to say. He listens like you’re the only one He has to hear.”
“God is kind of amazing, isn’t He?”
“Yeah. He is.”
No one can prepare you for a moment like that. When you hold your child in your arms, and once again, 11-years-later, in incredible and marvelous ways, God shows you just how much love He has to give.
**We have sung “Jesus Loves Me” to our little guy too many times to count. Chris Tomlin takes it to a whole new level. I dare you not to cry.
*This post is a link up to Five Minute Friday – an incredible community of writers who take five minutes to pour out their hearts on the page over one word. This weeks word is: prepare. To learn more about this free write challenge, visit here.