I listen to my kids. I listen to their countless questions, requests, demands, arguing and whines. I also listen to their giggles, their humor, their stories, their countless noises and their creative play. What I don't do as often as I should is sit and listen to them for an extended period of time. There always seems to be so much to do and in a family of three children, often all vying for my attention, the spans of attention I can give are generally pretty brief.
Well, the other day I had a chance to spend some one-on-one time with Sadie who turned five a couple months ago. It was after lunch. Miriam was napping and Jamey (who is on a partial break for the next few weeks) was doing school with Sam. I asked Sadie if she would like to help me clean up the flower beds outside. She has been in such a helpful mood these last couple months. I knew she'd say yes and she did.
I thought this would be a good chance for her and I to spend a few hours together and it was. We talked, but mostly worked. She has such a sweet spirit and did everything I asked of her, only pausing for short periods of time when she came across a worm and would hold it lovingly and talk to it for awhile before returning it to the dirt.
At one point, with our knees and hands down in the soil, Sadie told me that she wants to help an old lady whose arm bumps a door and who drops her bags of groceries like Solomon did. It took me a second to realize that she was talking about the little Amish boy in her and Sam's devotional book (The Wisdom of Solomon). He had helped an old woman pick up her dropped things and knew it pleased God. Sadie went on to ask if it makes God happy when she's a good helper and I told her that of course it does.
She then caught me by surprise.
She asked, "Why am I not a Christian?"
I paused, being taken off guard, and then asked, "Would you like to be a Christian?" She said yes. I went on to explain (in the simplest terms I could muster) the things a person needs to believe in order to become one. I asked her if she believed these things. "Yes," she said, looking up at me. I told her that we could say a prayer telling God and she and I prayed right there in the dirt with the birds singing and the breezes blowing. She beamed, especially when I told her that there were angels in heaven rejoicing because of her prayer. We hugged and I kissed her in that flower bed and we both couldn't stop smiling.
I'm sharing this because had I not thought to spend time with her in this way, I would've missed this conversation and this special, special time in her little life. Was it my idea to take her outside with me that afternoon? Initially I thought it was my own good idea. (Can you hear me pat, pat, patting myself on the back?). Or was it God prompting me? Had He wanted my little girl to give her sweet life to Him on that glorious spring day and just used me to help make it happen?
I've heard several stories over the last few days of people being prompted by God. Sometimes they didn't know it was God doing the prompting until later. If we knew the words we were hearing were of God, wouldn't we leap to obey? Sometimes His thoughts may be hard to discern because they could be passed off as one of our thoughts or ideas. But, how often do we miss His nudges because they seem like odd ideas we have, things that would either make us uncomfortable or take us outside of our comfort zone? What if they're not our weird ideas but His all-knowing, perfect and potentially powerful ones?
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.
I suggest we listen more and pray for discernment. I don't want to miss a single prompt.
I love you sweet people. And I'd love to hear about a time when you experienced God's nudging. Did you recognize it was Him at the time? What happened? Pin It