My oldest son wants an Xbox, badly. I don't think he even knows why, except for the fact that one of his friends has one, so they must be cool.
He's never getting an Xbox, but you can't tell him that.
I mean, you can tell him, but he'd be certain you're wrong.
About every week or two I come home from the grocery store with new cereal. Whenever the sale is right, and the coupons match up, we get the good name brand stuff, and Kellogg's has been running an Xbox promotion where some of their cereals offer the chance to win an Xbox, inside the box. It is advertised over the entire side of the box, so you can't miss it, and Elijah certainly doesn't.
There is probably less than a 1 in a million chance that he's going to win that thing. But every time I come home with new boxes, he behaves as though that Xbox is already his, and makes plans for it. His hope, his belief, that one of those boxes is going to be his golden ticket is downright foolery, yet so endearing. And I can't help but laugh each time he gets so excited about the prospect. And each time he opens a box that says, "Please try again," I wait for the disappointment, but he just shrugs his shoulders and says, "Well, you'll be buying more cereal soon!" with the most hopeful (some might say, idiotic) grin on his face. And that's that.
Jesus instructs us, without question, to have the faith of a child. (Matthew 18:3, 19:14, Mark 10:14-15, Luke 18:17)
Though the Xbox may be a poor example of this, and Elijah isn't actually praying for it, it still speaks to the amount of hope and faith I see in my children on a regular basis. I can apply this to so much more than material wants. When my aunt was sick with an incurable cancer, and given very little hope for survival by her doctors due to late detection, my then 5 year old son prayed for her every single night. He prayed for things I hadn't even thought of. Adults tend to pray for the things we think are rational and reasonable. I was praying for healing of course, but mostly that God would guide and direct her doctors to make the best decisions for her health.
My child prayed that "she wouldn't get sick," that the medicine would "help her and not make her sick." I will never forget hearing him pray this. He was only 5. We had not gone into great detail about the illness or treatments, but he somehow knew this, and my aunt was pretty much the healthiest sick person you'd ever meet. Not only did she survive, but she worked her physically demanding job landscaping throughout most of her treatment.
A few years later, when our oldest daughter asked for a sister, and my husband and I (him more than I) were pretty sure we were done with three, I told her to pray about it, but to understand that even if Mommy and Daddy did decide to have another baby, we couldn't guarantee her a sister. She prayed fervently and patiently about this. Her sister was born less than a year later.
I am not trying to say that everything a child prays for, they get. That's not it. But God so much as tells us to have a foolish amount of faith; that that which is foolish to the world, can be done through Christ, and Christ alone. He instructs us in this, and points this out in small children. Children don't rationalize odds. Children don't compare the possible with the impossible. Children who are taught of a God who can move mountains and part seas, actually believe that He can move mountains and part seas! And so often we teach our children these things which we, ourselves, have forgotten as we've grown older and "wiser." This is a foolishness I need. This is a foolishness I strive for.
I want to be that woman we meet briefly in Matthew 9:20, and again later in Mark 5.
She has been suffering, in pain, for 12 years. Yet she believes, without a doubt, that she can be healed, just by merely grasping at the tiniest piece of fabric on Jesus. Foolish right? I want to be that fool.
As a wife, mom of 4, and business owner, finding time to spend in the Word, can be difficult, so I get it! Come join me each Monday for a simple message of hope, faith, and encouragement amidst some honest mommy moments.
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