A few years back my neighbor’s little boys set up a lemonade stand. I grabbed some change and went over to support them. One of them eagerly poured me a cup. I took a sip, remarking how good it was. As I walked down my driveway, I looked back at them and watched for a little while. Then the boys poured themselves each a cup, took a gulp and poured the rest BACK into the pitcher. My stomach turned, imagining that I probably just drank “backwash” lemonade. Yep, their mom was in the house…no clue.
She didn’t see. Like me with my kids, I imagine she’s seen enough similar things with hers! But God was there – in the moment. He’s everywhere, all the time. He’s omnipresent. I’m thinking He was smiling – at the boys being boys and at what I was thinking.. as I watched.
God sees and hears it all. Do we avail ourselves of this amazing opportunity?!
When our children lived at home, I embraced and took comfort in it. I trusted that His presence was both in them and in the setting. If Cecilia had a test, I asked God to help her and give her peace. When the boys had football practice or a game, I asked for His protection and His favor as they played. When they went out on the weekend with friends, I asked God to fill them with courage to be who they are in Christ and to keep them safe. If one had to have a difficult conversation with someone, I asked God to give him the words to say.
I wasn’t there…but God was.
Do we believe this? Do we believe God wants us to participate with Him in the daily circumstances of our child’s life? The key words are “participate with Him” – not Him participate with us. If we try to control our child or a circumstance, how are we participating with God? …God, who made our child and has the BEST plans for her.
Unfortunately, I know firsthand the horrible feeling of realizing when I’m trying to control my child or her circumstance. Ugghh! It’s humbling because I realize that I am not trusting God – and it doesn’t do a whole lot for my child or our relationship either!
As each of our children left home for college, I’ve been challenged to a new level of choosing to trust God and who HE is. I still pray many of the same themes for our children. But more than ever, I have to intentionally place them into the Father’s hands. I close my eyes and pray, “Thank you God that you are with my child right now. Help her turn to you and cling to you above all else. Help me trust You and pray as you want me to pray…”
Jesus said before He ascended to the Father, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28.20)
Always… with us… and with our children.