Perhaps you’ve read Dorothy Nolte’s poem, “Children Learn What They Live.” If I’d written that poem, my first two lines would be:
- If children live with those who trust God, they learn to walk by faith themselves.
- If children live with those who pray, they learn to do the same.
My husband and I tried to raise our kids in an atmosphere of faith and prayer. Sometimes that wasn’t so easy. One morning, everything took longer than I expected, and when we finally got to the car we were running super-late. (I do not like running super-late!)
The kids, still small at the time, were all buckled up and ready to go when I realized we hadn’t prayed together yet. So, out loud, before doing anything else, I said something like, “Dear Lord, thank you for this day. Please be the boss of it, and help me to thank you for everything that happens.” (Not a bad way to start every day.) Then off we went, right? Wrong! I had no sooner uttered “Amen” than, turning the key, I heard… nothing. I turned it again…nothing.
Giving your day to God doesn’t mean he will give it back to you perfectly aligned with the plans you’ve made.
The kids were waiting for me to react to our mini-crisis. How could I respond, knowing they had just heard that prayer? The only decent choice was to stay calm and trust that God would work everything out. I honestly don’t remember how that day ended. (Many crisis moments are eventually forgotten, especially if we do not lose our cool.) What I do remember is this: We are being watched—much of the time—by those we love, our children as well as our friends and neighbors. And so, we have this challenge:
- To start each day with thanksgiving.
- To let God be in control! (He is anyway, so why not admit it?)
- To pray about all things, small and great.
- And to let others see us trusting our heavenly Father no matter what.