Friday, August 11, 2006

What my children have taught me about God

Jules over at Everyday Mommy is hosting a writing contest for moms on the topic "what my children have taught me about God." Easily that topic could be the fodder for numerous entries when I consider daily the ways these future greats humble me before my Father. When I have to discipline, I'm reminded that He disciplines those whom He loves. When I have a good gift to give them, I'm reminded that He always gives good gifts. When I hurt over a pain in their lives, physical or emotional, I'm reminded that He knows all the sorrows known to me. When I am impatient, I'm reminded that He is everlastingly patient with me.

As you can see, I could go on and on simply because the topic and its lessons are in daily operation for this mom of future greats. So when actually trying to distill the lessons down into an essay I thought mostly about how God even made me a mom. Me--the woman who didn't want to get married and certainly didn't want to have children. Me--selfishly ambitious for the tinsel of the world instead of the treasures of the Kingdom. All of that is it's own story by itself, but I'm humbled again at just remembering the ways the Potter has had to mold this lump of clay called Me.

Anyway, I write all that to say that being a mom has been both better and harder than anything or any other career that I could have taken. I'm awed that God chose me to be a mom, and I'm infinitely thankful that not only has He used the process to teach me about Himself but that He continues to teach me through these precious lives. The following is my essay.

My children have taught me much about God and the way He graciously operates in this world for the sake of His people. God has blessed me with four boys and daily their lives remind me of God's presence, promise, provision and providence. Here is some of their story.

My first child taught me about the presence of God. James was born into my presence in 1994. He was arguably the most beautiful child I had ever seen. He became ill at 3 months old. The next two and a half years were spent in and out of hospitals, in and out of treatments against a genetic disease that robbed him of developmental skills, health and a "normal" life. But disease was never able to deprive him of love or laughter or the preciousness of life. James was born into the presence of God in 1996. During his difficult two and a half years, I struggled with God as Jacob did, pleading for a blessing for my son, for myself. I cried out for His mercy on my son, on myself. I railed against the genetic curse on my son, on myself. And when James took his last breath in my arms, I knew and yearned for that very presence of God. Heaven and its promise has all fullness and imperishable understanding for me as I consider its glory and hope. James taught me to yearn for my true home, in the presence of God.

My second child taught me about the promise of God. Nate came into my life in 1997. He was born at only 28 weeks, weighing 2 pounds, 11 ounces and only 14 1/2 inches long. He was arguably the tiniest baby I had ever seen. We adopted Nate only 9 months after James' death and every detail of his adoption was handcrafted by God to the tiniest degree. From the first moments of seeing him, holding him, I was continually reminded by God's words "Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: 'I am the Lord, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself," that all God's promises are true. Nate's full name is Nathanael for Philip's friend who wondered if anything good could have come from Nazareth. Nate has indeed taught me that the ultimate and greatest good not only came from Nazareth but He still lives today, keeping His promises to His people to the tiniest degree. Nate teaches me to live like a child of God, trusting in the promises of God.

My third child taught me about the provision of God. Matthew came into my life in 2000. He was arguably the oldest baby I had ever seen at 26 months old with a head full of curly hair and a past just as full of chaotic details. We adopted Matthew after having tried to adopt unsuccessfully for 2 years. Every event of Matthew's life has taught me that in the provision of God, I am not forgotten. He is continually at work sanctifying me and removing the years that the locusts have eaten. He is not finished with me and by His word provides the transformation that I need to be fully His child. Matthew's name means "gift of God," and he teaches me even by his own difficulties, that the provision of God is always that of good and precious gifts.

My fourth child taught me about the providence of God. Samuel came into my life in 2001. He was arguably the most surprising baby I had ever seen because he was born to me when I thought that pregnancy was impossible and genetic disease too probable. Samuel was born without the genetic disease that stole the life of his brother, James. During my pregnancy I had prayed with the fervor of Hannah that this child's life be spared and God did indeed grant me what I had asked of Him. While I learned that prayer is both for my obedience and blessing, God also taught me about His real and majestic sovereignty. With James, the answer to prayer was his eventual death, and the answer to prayer with Samuel was his life unaffected by the genetic disease, and it is only God who has the power to answer thus with any person. Through Samuel He continues to teach me that above all, He alone reigns supreme to do as He wills with His sons and daughters for His glory and their good.

Presence, promise, provision and providence--all of my children have taught me much of God and His love for His children. May I continue to be a child at His feet, learning from the precious ones He has given me for my blessing and inheritance.

"Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it." Luke 18:17

1 comment:

  1. Words escape me. Poignant, bittersweet, yet full of the hope that only God can bring. Thank you for expressing God's tender mercies even in the most difficult and heartrending circumstances. May God continue to bless your stubborn faith in Him even still...