Children are a blessing from the Lord. I had always thought that meant children were a joy and just always made you happy and laugh and smile all the time. (this was obviously before I had children) That is why I thought they were a blessing. Really. That is what I thought.
Enter four children later....and I know the true blessing they are is the sanctifying work the Holy Spirit does in my life through them. The way they expose my weakness and sinfulness--the stuff I didn't even know was there. Ridding my life of sin and being made more into the image of Jesus my Savior--now that is a blessing.
But they sure do make me smile and laugh and are such a joy, too;)
Another way my children bless me is by the little lessons and reminders of who God is as I explain things to my children. Preaching things to myself even though I am speaking to them.
We love music in this family. We have a lot of CDs to choose from in the van and I like to change them up frequently. One day while I was changing the CD my kids started calling out to me in pure excitement, "A rainbow! A rainbow!" I was very confused because it hadn't rained. I quickly learned it was a rainbow on the ceiling of the van because the CD was catching the right angle of the sun rays.
So now every time I change a CD, the kids want a rainbow. And usually I do try to wave the CD up in the sunlight so it will work for them. It's just a fun little thing we do.
Last week we went to the store and as I'm changing CDs, my three year old asks for the rainbow.
It was an overcast day (very rare, but they do happen!) and I explained that it wouldn't work because the sunshine wasn't out. Then our conversation went like this:
"Why isn't the sun out?"
"Because God is allowing the sun to stay behind the clouds today."
"Then I will pray to God for sunshine."
(prays, "Dear Jesus, Heavenly Father, please make it sunny so I can have a rainbow. Amen")
Short and sweet and to the point, right? But I loved witnessing the pure faith that she displayed in that. She believes that God is the maker of the sun and in control of it. She believes that He can make it sunny.
I parked the car and while walking in the sun was peeking ever so slightly through the clouds.
"Mommy! God is making it sunny. I prayed and God is making it sunny!"
She sure is an opptomistic one, because it wasn't near "sunny" and I knew that it wouldn't be enough to make a rainbow with the CD when we got back into the car. I didn't want to ruin her excitement, but it gave me an opportunity to talk about how God definitely did hear the prayer and how we can take anything to God in prayer, but that just because she prayed for it to be sunny, that didn't mean God was going to push away the clouds and make the sun shine. I remember saying something like "maybe God thinks the clouds are the best thing for us right now" and it was right then that I realized how much I learn and am reminded of while talking to my children. It allowed me to explain that God is always good and he did hear the prayer, but His answer isn't always exactly what we want. And even when He gives us clouds when we prefer sunshine, He is good and will give His children what is best. And I could point out to her that the sun may or may not shine, but God is still there, still good, and still worthy to be praised.
It was just talk of the weather, but it was so much more than that. I'm so thankful for the opprotunities God gives me to speak truth into my children's lives and to speak it to myself at the same time.
And wouldn't you know, but when we came out of the store the sun was shining. Honestly, I think I had forgot about it by then. But she didn't. She was so excited and it again pointed us back to God, who is in control of all things and who did indeed answer her prayer. We rejoiced and praised God right there in the Walmart parking lot. Then, we loaded up and made a rainbow:)