Kids are annoying. Sometimes they ask you really annoying questions which expose your lack of faith in God. If I had known the Lord was going to use my children to humble and teach me, then I probably would have just gotten another dog or maybe a ferret. I’ve always thought ferrets were cool.
My wife and I had been through three days of spiritual discouragement, doubt, and frustration. There was a particular need in our lives and we had no idea how we were going to take care of it. I don’t know what a spiritual attack from Satan feels like, but it certainly felt like our “adversary the devil was prowling around…seeking someone to devour,” (1 Peter 5:8).
Truthfully, I don’t know what my wife’s problem was. Why wouldn’t she just trust God? I was pretty ashamed of her lack of faith. What about me, you ask? Well I obviously had no problem resting in the timing, goodness, and faithfulness of God? I mean really…I was totally trusting God…um…solid like a rock…well…
Okay, maybe I had a few doubts. Truth be told I was as squishy and weak as boiled spaghetti. I was curled up in a little ball, grumbling, doubting, and feeble. I wasn’t trusting God. I couldn’t pray anything but “HELP!” “WHERE ARE YOU?” “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”
Spiritual immaturity? Check. Failure as the spiritual leader of the family? Check.
Too make a long blog short, God stepped in after three days, provided an answer to our prayers, and showed us he knew what he was doing all along. We were reminded in the most painful but gentle way that God is good, wise, purposeful, and faithful. And here’s where my son’s annoying trust in God comes in.
We were all sitting in the car when my wife received an email through which God provided for our needs. We were both overwhelmed by our own lack of faith and God’s gracious faithfulness. Tears may or may not have been shed and praises were whispered from our lips. All of a sudden the heaviness, doubt, and fear which had weighed down our hearts for the last three days was gone. Our children, seeing our behavior, thought we had lost our minds. Recovering ourselves, we told the kids how God had answered our prayers and cared for us even though mommy and daddy hadn’t been trusting God.
My son, who is three, looked at us with innocence and consternation, and asked, “Why didn’t you trust God?” He seemed surprised we had any difficulty in trusting the Lord. How silly to doubt the goodness of God. Of course he would take care of you, Dad. That’s what God does. Duh.
I know three year-old kids don’t understand all the ins and outs of life, how complicated things can be, and the minor details of money, sickness, and food we parents have to consider on a daily basis. Maybe it’s a good thing. Their minds are uncorrupted by these concerns. They can understand the simplicity of faith and the faithfulness of God. Jesus knew this.
“But Jesus called them to him, saying, ‘Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it,” Luke 18:16-17.
Okay, so maybe I won’t get that ferret after all. Maybe my kids can remind me of the simplicity of faith and coming to Christ with humility and openness. Maybe, in my efforts to raise my kids to be adults, they can help me “grow young”, (to quote Rich Mullins), a become more like a child in my faith.
But a ferret would still be cool. I’m just saying.