I don’t know if this ever happens to other parents, but our children sure do know how to pull out the stops before bedtime. The seemingly endless drinks of water and bathroom visits have turned into the desperate need to run back downstairs to plug in their chrome books or finish that last ‘stretch your thinking’ math problem that simply didn’t exist in their minds until the eleventh hour. Every night at least one of them has an inevitable feat they must tackle before they can lay their head to rest for the night. And then, just before I lose my sanity, there are those occasions when they bring up these deep theological topics that simply cannot wait until morning…and they know it. Sometimes I think they store them up until just before bedtime knowing for certain I will take the bait.
A few weeks ago our now 13-year-old daughter Emalynn said to me one evening…just before tucking her in at bedtime of course…that she felt like God was telling her to reach out to some friends at school and start a Bible Study. Immediately my insistent ‘GO TO SLEEP!” attitude was squashed because inside I was jumping up and down with joy and excitement. I tried the best I could to not to burst with enthusiasm, but I did. The type-A mom in me wanted to sit right down and jump in feet-first at 10 p.m. and come up with a complete inductive lesson plan with her, but I felt the Lord holding me back…for this is her assignment. She explained that a friend of hers was sharing with her at school that she just didn’t know how to pray. And that got Emalynn thinking.
As she opened up and shared more, I realized that this once little girl of ours has a big faith. She talked of encouraging her friends to find “their Psalm” and pray in whatever way brings them closest to Jesus and how His Word would could show them all they need to know. She said she felt led to pray about what to share and just take it week-by-week trusting God to show her what to study. She acknowledged she had some fears and doubts, but she knew it was what she is supposed to do. So…she did.
This afternoon seven 8th grade girls met at our local coffee shop to study scripture. Just like I was thrilled that Em stopped my bedtime agenda in it’s tracks, I was happy to alter any typical afternoon plans to offer rides home to anyone who needed one afterward. You know…we pray for our children to be the Light of the world. We pray for God to use them to draw others to Himself through His Spirit at work within them. We pray for Him to bring honor and glory to Himself through who He made them to be. And when He answers, He answers…and it is so humbling. We are so grateful that God not only miraculously gave us these amazing children, but He is faithfully using them in His Kingdom just as we have asked…but immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine.