Saturday, December 22, 2012

Like little children...

You can learn a lot from watching kids....

I observe one particular trait in our little ones in the classroom very regularly, and that is, the tendency to want to take over, be in charge.

Many times in one day I will hear myself say to one of them: "Are you the teacher? Do you trust your teacher?" In other words, do you trust the one who is in charge? And that the one who is in charge can see the whole situation?
Do you trust that I care? Do you trust that I will be fair, kind, and want what's best for you even when it isn't what you want?

Their answer is usually yes. I mean, they know their teachers are kind and loving. They know that we want good things for them. And yet....

They want to take charge of the situation
They believe they are the only ones who know what the right answer/response/ course of action is
They are tempted to take charge of others' and their behavior/decisions
They are tempted to take for themselves whatever it is they want. Whether it's an actual thing, a privilege, or even "justice"

And I see their dilemma so clearly. I trust my teacher. I trust My Father. I really do. I know He wants good things for me, I know He can see the BIG picture, I know He is just and loving
And yet....

I want to take charge, I believe I know what the right course of action is, I want to tell others what to do, I want to get for myself what He isn't giving me.

What do you suppose is going on there? I mean, I am a smart woman. I know these truths about My Father, not just theoretically, but from actual experience. What is the matter with  me?
Why do I still want to grab control and do for myself what God isn't doing for me?
I mean, I am a pretty smart cookie, but I'm not smarter than God. If He isn't intervening, might there be a reason? a lesson? a purpose?

That's the hardest part for me to swallow. If there is a purpose (and there always is) to my frustration, I may not get to see that now. I may just have to walk forward in faith and not see the purpose, lesson or reason for a while. And all the while, all I will know is that I am trusting Him, more than I trust me. More than I trust my eyes, my ears, and my heart.

I ask as much from "my kids":
trust me
follow me
listen to me

You will learn that I love you and care well for you, you will learn that you can let go, and that being in charge is not what you were designed for.

Be the child, I will be the teacher. And how much happier you will be....

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Holy Boomerang

This has been quite a week...One of those weeks where after it's done, you figure you'd better write some of it down before you forget.

On a night earlier in the week, I tucked in my sweet boy, turned off his light, and as I was walking out of his room,  seemingly out of the blue he said, quite urgently and emphatically :"Mama, I don't want to feel what death feels like", WHAT!? his words hung in the air...time stopped for a minute or so, I felt blindsided.

I rushed back to his bedside, held him and we talked for a while. We talked about our Father who loves us. Our Father whom we trust with our lives. We talked about not being afraid because we follow Him.
Then, inexplicably, I felt strongly that I should say these words to him: "You don't need to be afraid, because Jesus fights for you". So I did. I told him, and it seem to soothe him. We talked a bit more and I felt that again. So I held his perfect little face in my hands, looked into his eyes and repeated "Jesus fights for you". He smiled. My heart could hardly stand it. It was one of those moments you never forget as a mom. I pray that he will never forget it either, but, who knows, he's only 6 :-)

We continued with our week, and as it turned out it was a more eventful week than we had planned. I will not sit here and talk about all the details. Let's just say some things happened. We felt sufficiently turned upside down, a little stunned, a little shocked, and sad. Just sad.
Paul and I talked, a lot, we tried to make sense of some things, we sought advice, we analyzed, we tried to understand and in more than one way tried to digest what was happening.
We were hurt, and we were scared. Then one night I shared our week with a dear friend, and she said :" We happen to be studying Kings at Community Bible Study, and we just talked about the story of King Jehoshaphat, look it up". She gave me the chapter and verses of this most amazing story.

Here's the part of it that stunned me:
 "This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you...Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’(2 Chronicles 20:15, 1)

My own words came back to me as I read this, straight to my heart:
"You don't have to be afraid, because Jesus fights for you".

There's this Chris Tomlin song (that I just happen to have heard for the first time this week) and it goes:

"I open my mouth And You speak for me You moved the mountain And rolled back the sea
And I will not be afraid I will never be ashamed For You are with me You are with me

That is exactly how I felt. I opened my mouth and He spoke for me, as I tried to comfort my son. And then those words came right back to me like a holy boomerang,just days later, to soothe my soul, and quite frankly, to shock my socks off. It's not that I don't know that our gracious and almighty God does things like this, it's that I do not remember the last time I felt that I had opened my mouth and have Him speak for me, and TO me, at the same time. Maybe it had never happened before. It left me speechless. Wow, what a liar, that's not true at all. I am almost never speechless.(if you know me, you can stop laughing and nodding in agreement). No, actually, the opposite happened, I could not shut up about it.

As it turns out, the next day I went into work, and we were discussing a delicate matter involving one of our sweet students. He's been having a hard time following rules and respecting his friends and teachers .
But we know this boy. We love this boy. And we know Jesus knows and loves this boy. He is smart, kind, strong. But he struggles. As we talked about him, His truth just rose up in me....JESUS FIGHTS FOR HIM!He needs to know that. 
So I drove over to his classroom, and I sat with him. I read him the story of King Jehowhatshisname, as he listened attentively. Then I looked at him and I said "do you understand? The King didn't even have to fight. He just prayed, praised God, and was courageous enough to just walk in faith"
He understood, of course, because he is smart, so I continued. "Jesus fights for YOU.You don't have to do this in your own strength, because He fights for YOU, ok? Will you remember this?" 
He smiled his big beautiful smile and said "YES" enthusiastically. I hugged him, gave him a high five and went home. 

I came home and the whole weight of it crushed me, in the most wonderful of ways. The boomerang went around more than once. His word will not return void to Him. His word is truth, His word comforts.

The book of Isaiah says:  
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
    It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
    and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
The book of Isaiah, interestingly. That's our student's name: Isaiah, as in "The salvation of the Lord".

Are your socks off yet?