Parents, have you ever had a moment of fear about what your child was about to do next? You know, that feeling when you realize that what is about to happen probably isn’t good…and generally that always happens in public.
Are any of you with me?
Well, last month, we were at this large family gathering. It was actually a blending of two families and we were trying to get to know one another, and it was pretty great. Then, it came time to pray for the food and, just as the prayer was about to begin, Asher yelled and screamed, “No!” and said that he wanted to pray.
I instantly had that feeling come over me as a parent – when I didn’t know what was about to happen, but I knew it wouldn’t be good.
I was ready for more yelling, silliness or for Asher, in particular, more wrestling with his brother. But, here is what happened…
Asher said, “I pray” and then he started, but stopped and told us all to close our eyes first. Then he prayed, “Dear Jesus, thank you for being here at Grandma’s with us, for the food, let’s have fun. Amen.”
I looked at my wife and my jaw dropped. Because, Asher has never done this. In fact, I don’t think he’s ever really prayed out loud before. Most of the time, he’s the one talking through my prayer. In fact, he’s more likely to yell during grace than to do anything else.
So, I share this with you, not because I have perfect kids, but for this reason…sometimes things stick and shine through, so have hope!
Read that again…sometimes things stick and shine through, so have hope!
Sometimes, after fighting through grace at meal times, fighting through bedtime prayers amidst yells from your kids that they don’t want to go to bed and fighting through reading Bible stories while your kids wrestle…sometimes things stick and shine through.
Jesus talks about it in Matthew 13 when He asks us to sow seeds. And, here is the thing…seeds take a long time to grow, but sometimes they sprout and grow, and you get to see this when you least expect it (like at a family gathering when everyone is watching).
So, I share this with you to encourage you to hold onto hope. Parenting, grandparenting and seeing change in any relationship takes a long time. Sometimes, it just feels grueling, like you’re toiling for no reason. Sometimes, in beautiful moments, you see that it’s stuck and it shines through.
So, don’t give up, because Asher sharing a deep and beautiful prayer when least expected has reminded me, we never know what’s going on underneath.