Last week I mentioned a couple difficult situations that my children (and I) are walking through...
I've been thinking and praying about those things on behalf of my kids. A lot.
God's been answering me, speaking to my heart about life's struggles. What He's been saying surprised me. For example...
I asked Him for help for Malakai. I prayed that drop off time at daycare wouldn't be so difficult for him, that he would be less sad and afraid. I asked God to be with him, protect him, and comfort him. I asked God to turn Kai's experience around, so that he would be excited about the fun days he would have.
At first, I heard what I expected to hear from the Lord...
Tyler, I love your little boy even more than you do. I have his best interests at heart. I am always with him, protecting and comforting him. You can trust Me with him.
But then, God started saying (not out loud, but into my heart) things that took me by surprise.
Just as I use every situation - especially the difficult ones - to shape you to serve Me, I will use this trial in Malakai's life for My Kingdom purposes.
Do not think that your children will be exempt from hardship simply because you love and serve Me. If their faith and strength and character are "by default," they will be weak. But a faith in Me that comes from truly needing Me will be their own. Yes, daughter, even in their preschool years I am already shaping them for My service.
Imagine the great things that a child named "Messenger of God" can do for My Kingdom. Then multiply that by 1,000. Those are the kind of plans I have for Malakai...and for each of your children.
But just as you needed to walk through hardships, grow in faith, allow yourself to lean into My strength, and become mature in character in order to serve Me - so will they. If I protect them from these trials that come their way, they will miss out on something greater I have for them.
As God and I had this conversation, and I wanted to argue with Him about what was best for my children, I was reminded of how Beth Moore prays for her daughters... She has often mentioned praying along the lines of, "Lord, please do not protect these children from that which will bring them into Your Presence." (Not a direct quote. But if someone has her exact words handy, please share!)
I've often thought how wildly brave that prayer is, and how cowardly my own prayers for my children seem in comparison. I ask for His protection for them, but fail to ask for them to experience the reality of His presence in their lives.
And that begs the question... What would I rather have for my children - His protection or His presence?
Have you ever prayed that wildly brave prayer for your children?