Who hasn’t heard their parents say, "I hope God gives you a child just like yourself!" I often wonder if the main reason God allows us to be parents is for the tremendous learning opportunities that come from parenting someone just like us. We can definitely gain a new perspective on ourselves as we parent, or when we mentor other children in our church, family, or neighborhood.
Only when you watch your child question your trustworthiness, intelligence, or dependability, can you really understand how insulting your own lack of trust in God must be to Him. I remember the day I learned that lesson. I was arguing with our daughter, Emily, that two plus two was four, when she was convinced that it was three, because her teacher said so. It was frustrating that she had so little confidence in my mathematical abilities. I remember telling her, "I’m a CPA. I’m quite sure that I’m capable of understanding basic math."
Mature, I know, and that’s not the worst part. The worst part is that I’ve shown the same lack of trust in God by doubting His Word at times.
Thankfully, all of my parenting lessons haven’t been toe crushers. Some have conveyed His love for me in ways I would have never thought possible. He used our son, Ryan, to teach me a lesson on His love for me.
Ryan suffered a stroke just prior to his birth and one of the side effects is that his vision has been delayed. One day, as I cried out to God asking him to please let my baby boy see my face, I suddenly realized how urgently He must want me, His child, to see His face.
Even though Ryan now wears glasses, each time we make eye contact I’m still in awe. In awe that he can see me, and in awe that such an awesome, loving God loves me and wants me to see Him.
In all fairness, I did need a lesson on letting go and turning things over to God. He taught me that lesson one day as I was talking with Emily. I was telling her how thankful I was that Ryan was doing so well. Then I began to feel sick just remembering the months of Ryan’s seizures. I was thinking, "No seizures since Thanksgiving. Thank you God! Gosh, that was awful!"
As my voice faded I realized that I was thinking out loud. Emily was surprised by my comment and asked why I hadn’t told her about the seizures. I told her that it was "adult stuff" for Mom and Dad to handle and that she didn’t need to worry about it.
Then my Teacher called a tutoring session. He asked why the seizures were "adult stuff." I said, "Well, because she can’t do anything about them and they would just scare her anyway." I could almost hear Him say, "Hmmmm." I knew exactly what He meant. It seems that I’ve been consumed with some "God stuff" lately – scary medical and financial strain that I need to let God take care of since I can’t do anything about them anyway.
One Sunday, our Pastor was telling the kids that learning in school isn’t as much about learning when Columbus sailed the ocean blue, as it is about simply learning to learn. If we can just take his advice and learn to learn from our children, the opportunities are endless. I pray that each conversation with your child will lead to a new divine revelation; an understanding of how He lovingly sees you – His child.