As parents we can pass up the chances God gives us to show our kids the real Jesus in their world.
With my 14-year-old daughter struggling with finding friends in high school and struggling with the concept of why God didn't hear our prayers, it was time to step out in faith, and trust that the God who has always had my back... wouldn't change or fail me now. He didn't, and he won’t fail you. But to find out how He actually showed up for my daughter and for me...
I remember thinking of the pain in my daughter's eyes, pain and frustration. She had been taught since a little girl of a God who would answer His children’s prayers, all you had to do was ask. She had asked, but nothing had happened and when she kept asking and asking... with nothing to show for it. All that she had believed about God started to come into doubt.
It was late at night and I was tired, and I wanted to just share the “pat” answer “that God is always at work, whether we can see it or not”, or “God’s timing is not our timing... ” but something inside me warned to NOT go Sunday School on my 14 year old. It was time for her to hear God for herself.
So, I grabbed my Bible and quickly looked up the day in my dailyaudiobible journal to see what verses were pre-set for the days reading and found the Psalm for that specific day. I read it quickly and it came alive to me. It specifically reflected the angst of King David in one of his many hours of desperation and loneliness and frustration with God himself. The Psalm was exactly describing what my daughter was experiencing...
I sat down with my daughter and read her the Psalm and as I did so, I asked her if that was how she felt? She nodded her head with tears in her eyes... and then I shared with her that I believe God WAS answering her prayers. He had been all along, but she just had not yet learned how to hear Him.
When I told her the verses I read were for the day’s exact calendar date and were written more than three thousand years earlier by King David, it suddenly connected with her. God was speaking to her through His sacred word, not in the darkest corner of our church sanctuary with a deep baritone voice, but in her room, straight from the verses of the Bible.
Bethany connected the dots that night... God was speaking to her, she just hadn't known how to listen for His voice.
I then asked her if she would be willing to trust God one more time and pray with me for a friend? She cried, and she sobbed, but in the end she spoke the words of pure faith and desperate hope that God would hear her cry. I agreed with her in prayer and promised to pray for her request with her for 30 days, and she promised to read her daily Psalm for 30 days and off we went.
Within two weeks of that evening, my daughter connected for life with her best friend Lilly Ann Gee. They are inseparable, joined at the hip. Good for each other, strong in their faith and in their bond that is like a sister and of course... supernaturally blessed. God answered Bethany’s prayer and mine, He showed up and exceeded all of our expectations.
The best part of the story... Bethany still reads her Psalms and she can and does hear God’s voice on her own now. Her faith is like any teenagers, but growing and stronger because of the testing. I hate to think what might have happened if I had just brushed her concerns under the proverbial “rug” that night.
Don’t pass up the chances God gives us as parents to show them the real Jesus in their world.
May God richly bless you with wisdom and grace for the journey of parenting as you like me struggle to “keep our families in between the lines and on the road of life”.