Dirt, tiny digging tools, and a magnifying glass littered the table where my fourth-grade daughter hunched over her latest project. Her focus was intense, and even calls for lunch weren’t enough to pry her from the task at hand.
“Mom, I think I found something!”
Sure enough, I could see a dinosaur fossil clenched in her tweezers. I’m not sure which was more impressive—the fossil or my daughter’s jubilant smile. Her sisters joined me in examining the find, and my heart thrilled to watch the enthusiasm of my little explorer.
For several years, my middle daughter was into all things dinosaur. She lived and breathed paleontology. She exhausted available library books, begged to visit museums, and requested science kits for birthdays and Christmas.
Around that time, our family devotions centered on the importance of a daily walk with God and learning to listen to His leading in all decisions, especially our life’s work.
This gave my young scientist great pause. As she pondered the concepts of listening to God’s voice and living in obedience to Him, I could see the conflict in her eyes.
“But mama, what if God doesn’t want me to be a paleontologist?”
Haven’t we asked the same question? What if God doesn’t want what I want?
Oh, the struggle!
But oh, the joy of surrender and obedience. Every step of faithfulness lights the way for the next step. And the next.
Are we as parents holding on to old dreams? Does God want us to release them so He can give us a broader vision? Maybe we’re thinking too small.
My daughter and I spent the next few minutes discussing that if she surrendered her dreams to God, He would take that sweet obedience and He would fill the place in her heart—presently filled with dinosaurs—with His plans for her (science or something else).
And those plans would be bigger and more amazing than she could imagine.
What a privilege to teach our children the concepts of faith and submission! To introduce God’s promises and precepts concerning how to follow Him. To encourage them to cling to Scriptures like Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope and Proverbs 3:5-6, Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
What a joy-filled responsibility God has given parents: To walk this path of obedience so that younger feet may follow.
cover photo courtesy of Bing images.