Friday, May 2, 2008

My kids and their faith

There are a handful of stories in the scriptures that bring tears to my eyes every time I read them. They are just little tiny stories that somehow feel so personal that for a moment I can almost see it as if I were there or even that person. For example, Peter denying Christ three times, hearing the cock crow, then going out and weeping.

Also, I love the story of Jacob’s meeting with Esau after years and years away. As you probably remember, Jacob took Esau’s birthright blessing. Jacob then fled because Esau was so angry he was going to kill him, but eventually the Lord commanded Jacob to return. He sent messengers to Esau and was told Esau was coming to meet him with 400 men. Jacob was pretty terrified at this. In fact he divided his people, flocks, servants, etc. into two groups so that if Esau attacked one group, hopefully the other group would escape. Then in Genesis 33:4 it describes when they finally saw each other: “And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.” Can anyone not cry when they read that?

Well, that finally gets me to the point of this post. Another one of those little stories that touch me extra is the story in the New Testament of the father who brings Christ his possessed son. Who knows if it was a demon or some disorder, but the boy would fall down and tear at himself and throw himself into fire and water, etc. Christ told the father all things were possible to them that believe. Then the poor father “. . . cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” That always makes me cry because I feel like that father sometimes, knowing that if I just have the faith something will work, but not certain I do have the faith. I love to think of that poor dad begging for Christ to have mercy and help him where his faith is lacking, and of course Christ does heal his boy.

I have total faith Christ can do anything, heal anything or fix anything I ever ask. It’s just that sometimes I waver because I am uncertain if it is His will for me and I haven’t yet found out, or I think it is perhaps too trivial, so my faith is shaky about it being worth His while to answer. Yet, here is something: I have utter confidence in my kids faith and I use it. I almost feel like I am being sneaky or taking advantage of them. Once, when Abe was only three, we couldn’t get our tiny little blue truck to start. We were just in our driveway, so it wasn’t like we would die stranded someplace if it didn’t start. We’d simply be stuck at home. Still, Abe immediately suggested we say a prayer. Hmmm. “Sure . . .” I said, “why don’t you say the prayer.” Sure enough the truck then started. I feel like I use this all the time – if Penny isn’t sleeping well, have my kids pray that she will, if we want a particular blessing for our family, set the kids to praying for it. I often have more faith in their prayers than my own. Is that ok? Ideally, I imagine, I should be striving to become more like a child myself and have their same faith rather than just use their faith, but of course Heavenly Father answers their good requests and prayers. They are just so certain and so sure -- nothing wavering. One night Goldie had been having some bad dreams. She told me that she had prayed about it so now she would "never have a bad dream again." It made me want to cry at her faith and also at my lack of faith, and my fear that maybe she still would have bad dreams because life is meant to test us and sometimes that means we don't get everything we ask for. I've tried to explain that to my kids, to tell them that sometimes we will have hard times and be sick or sad and that Heavenly Father will always hear us and always help us through and in the end deliver us, but sometimes he won't fix everything right away because we need to prove we'll be true even when it's hard. At the same time, I love and don't want to take anything away from their total and complete trust. I’m so in awe of their faithful little spirits. How does Heavenly Father trust me to raise them when in so many ways they are far more full of faith than I am? Now there is another thing that brings tears to my eyes!

9 comments:

Heeere's J-dude: said...

So beautifully worded. We are dealing with a situation with YW - sorry if you tire of me and my calling but it IS my life - one that requires faith to receive the guidance to know how to proceed. That is what I am so bad with - is it the Lord's will or am I just doing it my way and hoping the crap shoot turns out well enough. Today my daughter showed me her faith in the situation and I realized that we foster their faith to grow but then we so rely on each other - mother, child, sister, friend - to learn that our faith is absolutely enough and often more. This makes absolutely no sense but your words touched me. I should have just said that. Thanks. I should be more spiritual on my blog. It is good for the soul.

Liz217 said...

Of course it is normal to feel that your kids have more faith. Jesus said we should be like little children. I don't think all of the reason's were even listed. I am often in awe of how forgiving they are of me and my mistakes when I can't even seem to forgive myself. You can be happy for the way they are turning out under your guidance. They have been blessed to have you as their mother and I'm sure they are learning from the examples you set for them daily.

Melissa, Ryan and Addy said...

Very good post, one of the best I've ever read! What a cute picture of all your kids. I really like black and white pictures. I enjoy your blog, because you are such a humble spiritual person. Never fake spiritual, just to impress people but the real kind. I think that even though I don't have a child who is old enough to talk yet, kids understand and know much more than we sometimes give them credit for. Just from experience with my kids at school and my sweet little niecie, I've come to learn that.

Perla said...

Dear Nank,
I have nothing good to add to your thoughts except that I feel the way you do so often. I had an experience with Grace the other night that I will have to tell you about where I was just wondering, "wow...where did that kind of faith come from?" it was amazing and I am grateful for all that these little ones can teach us. I am grateful for Abe and his spirituality because after writing the post about Aaron I got all sad that my girls don't have a big brother. So, maybe Abe can help fill that role.

Lover of Sweets said...

I thought this post was absolutely awesome. I don't feel like you are using their faith it's just that you have faith that God will listen to them about this small thing because to them it is NOT a small thing. I think the prayers of children go straight to Him and start pulling at His heartstrings and He absolutlely wants to answer them right away so that their faith will not waiver as an adult's sometimes can.
Anywho, you ARE an awesome mom and they are lucky to have you!

Tash said...

whoa I just got back from womens conference and they were talking about exactly that the boy with the demons/disorder and more relatable stuff. I need to email you.

Mugsy said...

Man Nanc, What a neat post. What cool examples in the scriptures. I just feel like crying right now.I love you so much. And ofcourse my little kids that are really your little kids.

marzee said...

You're a great mom Nanc - and even if you are "relying" on their faith - you're teaching them to exercise it - which is what those wonderful mothers of the stripling warriors did. And what was said about them? Go look it up - because "them" is you! You're wonderful!

Nancy said...

That was nice, thanks!

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