Could also be titled, “Gauging my children’s spiritual maturity”
This past weekend Hannah and Benjamin performed with their respective choirs in The Alabama Choir School Winter Concerts. The performances went well both nights, but we had a bit of a scare Saturday night.
Saturday was a very busy day. We attempted to do a little Christmas shopping, Karl had to oversee a software upgrade at the office, we had a family birthday party to attend, and the concert that night. The time of the party meant that we’d have to pack the kids’ performance uniforms and go straight to the concert hall from the party. No problem. However, Benjamin forgot one thing — his Most Dedicated Chorister medal.
Karl agreed to drop us off at the concert hall, run home for the medal and bring it to us. Of course, Ben didn’t have to have the medal. He wouldn’t have been penalized for not having it because it isn’t a necessary part of the uniform. But I didn’t want him to miss his final opportunity to wear it in a concert.
The kids went to warm up with their choirs while I waited for Karl to return with the medal.
Medal in hand, I headed backstage to find Benjamin. I found him lying on a couch and looking very pale. Another parent explained to me that Ben had very nearly fainted during warm-ups. I looked him over, prayed with him, and ran to the reception hall to find a small snack and beverage for him. On the way, I called Karl so that he and the other kids would be praying for B, too.
Ben promised he was feeling much better when the knock came at their door to line up for the stage. I gave him a quick kiss and ran to find a seat.
During his choir’s performance, of course I prayed that Benjamin wouldn’t faint (his place was on the top riser!), but I was also praying that God would show himself strong on Ben’s behalf. It was my prayer that this would be one of those teachable, faith-building moments.
A couple of hours later, after the concert and the big party, we talked about what happened. I wanted to see if Benjamin could put together the events of the evening in light of what we’ve taught him about God’s sovereignty over all things.
“You know, we were a little disappointed that you forgot your medal. And Daddy wasn’t really excited about driving all the way home and back to get it for you,” I said.
“But if you had not forgotten the medal, then I would not have gone to find you backstage. If I had not found you white-as-a-sheet backstage, then I wouldn’t have gone to get you the snack you needed. And I wouldn’t have known that you needed us to pray for you.”
“Yeah, but I prayed that you would come find me,” Ben said. (This encouraged me because it means he’s learned to go to God in prayer when he needs help.)
“Yes, and how did God answer your prayer?” I asked.
“He let me forget my medal,” he said, “so what we thought was a bad thing was good for me!”
“There are a few things we can learn from this. God cares for you, for one. And, like you said, even things that look like bad things can turn out for our good. And God is in control — even over a little thing like forgetfulness.”
We had a good talk about trusting God that I hope he will always remember. I don’t want our faith to be something we just talk about at church or during our family devotion time. I know my children may face much more difficult, faith-shaking circumstances, but I hope they will be able to see where the Lord helped them in their pasts and so encourage them to place their trust in Him for the future.
*I just read over this and realized it certainly paints a rosy picture of my parenting skills. This is just one picture of a bazillion. Right now, there’s an ugly fight in the other room about the current round of hide ‘n’ seek that I need to break up.