>Even as I was posting my challenge this morning, I think the Lord was already beginning to stir some thoughts in my mind. I just love the way He teaches me!
Have you ever taken time to truly delight in the learning of someone else – and let them know you’re delighting in it? As a mom, I have so many opportunities to do just that, but frequently I miss them. So many times I let that natural part of me kick in – you might know what part I’m talking about, because it just might be natural in you, too. It’s that idea that I can do it quicker and faster, and it’s followed by the action of stepping in and “helping.” I’m slowly – very slowly – learning to hold myself back. My children can’t learn if I’m constantly doing for them!
Yesterday at church Steven was trying to help Angela take chairs off the Sunday school tables and put them in their rightful spots to be ready for Sunday school. Angela felt that Steven was too little and kept telling him that she would take care of it since he couldn’t really do it. He wasn’t quick enough or coordinated enough or something. Oh, how I saw myself! I asked her to let him try, reminding her that he’d never learn if he didn’t try. So, she started down one side of the table and left him to start down the other. A bit awkwardly, he managed to get that first chair off the table and into its rightful spot. And we cheered! He excitedly started toward the next one and established a bit of a rhythm. We cheered some more! That just motivated him on until he figured out just what he needed to do with each chair. My heart swelled with pride and my lips spoke encouragement as I watched him learn, and my words spurred him on to tackle each new chair with greater ability.
I watch my girls in school or in the kitchen as they grasp concepts and skills; I watch Steven start to clean up the toys he’s playing with because he’s learned he can’t get a new toy out before he puts away the ones that are out; I watch each child grow more confident in a skill that was once very challenging for them – in each of these things, I am so tempted to step in and “help,” but I am learning more and more to stand back and cheer. And with each cheer their confidence grows.
Could it be that in doing this I am stepping into a pattern set by my Father?
Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Neh 8:10 (NASB)
As we progress through each step of our journey, do we bring joy to the heart of our Father? Scripture shows us that we are strengthened through His joy. What brings Him joy? How do we see His joy? I think one of the reasons I find joy in seeing the growth of my children is because my God created me in His image. Although I am corrupt and evil in my sinful nature, He is gradually conforming me back into His image. When I see the beauty and growth of my children – when I see good in what they do and who they are – I can’t help but think that I am seeing a tiny glimpse of my Father’s joy in me. When I know I have pleased Him, I long to please Him more. So, I am strengthened to move forward into those challenging tasks. May I bring you joy, my Father!