January 27, 2005
Encouragement for Today
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)
"I have to have the Batman umbrella," Ethan said, as we pulled up to his preschool.
"It is not raining, Ethan," I replied to my 3-year-old son.
"I have to have the Batman umbrella," Ethan said, with great determination.
O.K. it wasn't worth a power struggle or show down on a Monday morning before school.
However, for the record, it was a beautiful, sunny day. There was not a cloud in the sky.
Ethan and I walked into his classroom with the Batman umbrella shielding us from the invisible raindrops he just knew were coming. He and I got quite a few concerned stares from other parents and children. I just smiled and held his hand. Ethan truly believed that it was going to rain.
It suddenly occurred to me that this might be a small opportunity to encourage my son with a little faith lesson by just simply holding his hand and walking beside him while others thought we were crazy. Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1 NIV). Christians throughout history have been asked to do what might appear to others as insane tasks - tasks like getting ready for a flood by building an ark in the desert where it had never rained (Genesis 6-8). How about being told to walk around a city wall, yell at it, and then watch it fall to the ground (Joshua 6)? The Lord not only gives us these types of tasks but is also willing to walk beside us and hold our hand as others stare in disbelief. Jesus Christ is the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2 NIV).
Because He loves us. Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes and always perseveres. Love never fails (I Corinthians 13:7, 8 NIV). My son may be asked by the Lord to do some challenging tasks in the future. I want to have done my part in encouraging him in the "superhero faith" he will need in order to accomplish those tasks. I want him to remember that those who love him will always be walking beside him, holding his hand.
Much to my amazement, it did rain that afternoon. My little superhero was ready with his Batman umbrella. A few weeks later, my husband found Ethan asleep in his bed holding his Batman umbrella over his head. We are currently looking for leaks!
My prayer for today:
Dear Lord, please help me find ways to encourage those you have placed around me in their superhero faith. Amen.
Pray and write a note of encouragement to someone who has been called to start a new ministry.
Ask a missionary to name a few of their favorite things they miss about home and send those items with a note of encouragement.
When was the last time I just held my child's hand? What are some practical ways I can encourage my children in their faith? What is "child-like faith"? Do I have the faith needed to raise my children?
"We live by faith, not by sight." 2 Corinthians 5:7 (NIV)
"And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." Hebrews 11:6 (NIV)
"As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead." James 2:26 (NIV)
Being a Great Mom, Raising Great Kids by Sharon Jaynes
Radically Obedient, Radically Blessed by Lysa Terkeurst
Originally published Thursday, 27 January 2005.