“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.”
~1 Corinthians 1:27
“Out of the mouths of babes…” We’ve all heard this phrase and in fact it’s become a part of the common English tongue so much that it could be considered tired and overused. Yet the truth of it remains firm: from the humblest of us can spring forth the greatest wisdom. As for me, I’ve known for a long time that my children are the greatest reflections of myself. Both for the better and the worse.
For any of you who have been reading this blog regularly, you will know what a challenging season my family and I are in (however if you’re new, please feel free to read any of the posts categorized under On Faith or On Life).
This weekend was filled to the rim with God speaking to Caity and me through our children. On Saturday during the torrential downpour, we served the kids’ lunches at the table and we decided to go jog the lane right outside our house…in the rain! We threw on our running gear, checked on the kids and then hit the pavement.
By lap two, our son Sam had put on his coat and stood by the front door, yelling for us to come inside because he was afraid it might thunder. We assured him that there would be no thunder and it was just rain. By lap four, the rain fell even heavier and the wind picked up; both Sam and Sophia were at the front door yelling for us to come in because they were worried that it was turning into a hurricane. We assured them that Seattle doesn’t get hurricanes and it was just really heavy rain.
By our final lap, we came in the house soaking wet and filled with joy to have been out in the serious squall, but our children were less than amused and so we used the moment to teach them that even though it was raining really hard, they were safe; we had our eyes on them the whole time and it only looked scary because they don’t fully understand the weather.
Then later on Saturday, I took Sam to be my buddy and go to Les Schwab for some new tires for the Kia. That place is like Candyland for my son, in fact I’m quite certain that if Sam had a choice between the actual Candyland or Les Schwab, there would be no competition.
As soon as we got there, he examined the new tires on the racks, on display, and on the cars through the observation window. He played with the brake disks on display and with the computer console that allows users to test out different rims on different car models. This kept him busy while I read my book…for two hours.
Yet it was when I would stand up and look out the window to see if the mechanics had started on my car that Sam would stop whatever he was doing, look at me and ask: “What are you doing Dad?” And I would tell him. Then he would hold up his hand and say: “You’re not going to leave me?” And I would take that moment to reassure him that I am his father; that he is more precious to me than anything else and I would never, ever leave him. We had this interchange three times.
Finally on Sunday as we packed into the car as a family to run errands, the kids recognized that lunch time was approaching, but not yet there. Thus began the usual rigamarole that goes something like this:
Sophia: “Is it lunch time yet?”
Parent: “Not yet.”
Viola: “Are we going out for lunch?”
Parent: “We are in the car. So yes.”
Sophia: “What are we doing for lunch?”
Parent: “Don’t know yet.”
Viola: “I don’t want hamburgers.”
Sophia: “Will it be delicious?”
Samuel: “LET’S GET HUNGRY!!”
Many conversations surrounding food at the Patten household resemble this interchange, usually ending with Sam getting straight to the point. *sigh*
It wasn’t until Sunday evening when Caity and I had some downtime to engage each other that we were able to reflect and recognize the significance. God had been speaking to us through our children the entire weekend, giving us a glimpse of His perspective…and what He has to put up with.
Our kids’ concerns reflect our own when it comes to presenting our anxieties at the feet of God: This is scary and I’m afraid…please don’t leave me…will you provide for me? The beauty of this all is very obvious; God gave Caity and I a chance to respond to our kids’ fears in the exact way that He is responding to ours: Don’t be scared, I know what’s happening…I’m your Father and I will never leave you…when have I ever failed to provide for your needs?
Being a child of God means having to live in trust as children do. I’ve learned how to express my concerns to my Father, but I also want to learn how to trust him quietly when He speaks and says “all will be well.” Just as it is a challenge to have children sit still and wait upon their parents, it too is a challenge for me to learn how to “be still” and know that He is God.
How do you respond to God with your anxieties?
SOLI DEO GLORIA!