There are so many things I love about being a mom; there is something new to discover every day. One thing I have come to appreciate through each stage of watching my boys grow and develop, is how often I am reminded to stop and examine my own heart and how I am responding to God. I recognize behaviors and attributes in my children, and it is like God gently shows me the areas where I need to grow closer to Him. He reminds me what it means to have child-like faith and total dependence and trust toward a loving parent, of which He is the ultimate of all loving parents!
The very first Bible verse I ever memorized is still one of my all time favorites. It is relevant for me every day in the journey of motherhood, and something I want to instill in my sons as they grow.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”
Proverbs 3: 5-6 NLT
The New King James Version is the one I memorized, and I still love that wording. But I also looked at several other translations and I like the way the New Living Tranation uses the words “Seek His will in all you do.” That puts it in a way that is easy to understand. We should be seeking His will first in every decision, every day. It says “do not depend on your own understanding.” I don’t know about you but I am thankful and relieved by that! We tend to think we are very wise, especially as parents, but when I think about all of the things I don’t know, all of the books I haven’t read, or topics I don’t understand, I am so glad my feeble understanding is not all I have to lean on!
When you bring home a new baby, he or she is the picture of total trust. It is probably because they are completely helpless. They depend on their parents for their very survival: food, safety, comfort and security. They can do nothing out of their own power. If we are being honest, each of us as adults is really the same way! We are like a grain of sand, a tiny speck in this immense universe. And yet God cares for us in the same way that we care for our brand new baby, in every way. And so I should look to Him with the same trust that my infants looked up at me, and the same security they felt in my arms, knowing I too am safe. I am always amazed at how beautifully God has created each phase of life to show us more of Himself. Most of the time we don’t even notice it, yet it is obvious when we stop to look for it.
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? Psalm 8: 3-4
As our children grow, they begin to realize that they have a mind of their own; they want to make their own decisions and use their knowledge to explore the world. This is a good thing; it is the way God made us. I love watching my sons learn new things! But in watching them develop, I am again reminded how important it is to trust in someone bigger. Lately, I find myself saying to my four-year-old,“trust me,” or “you just have to trust mommy.” At his age, he loves to question and find out new information. And I love to explain things to him as much as I can, at a level his mind can understand. But there are times when I know that if I explained the whole reason for something, he would not understand it. So in those times I ask him to trust me, like we trust God. I ask for his trust because it is my job to care for him, because I love him and I will always want the best for him (and at his young age I know what that is better than he does). In the same way, God asks us to trust Him because He cares for us, He loves us, and He always wants the very best for us (and He always knows what that is so much better than we do!)
My small mind cannot understand the greatness of the universe, the power of God, why bad things have to happen, or the concept of eternity…the list goes on! When I stop to think about some of those things it is scary to me, and makes me realize just how small I am! But I am comforted through the example of my children. There are so many things that their minds can’t even begin to understand, that as an adult I can. So I rest assured and trust that I too have a parent who understands the things my brain cannot handle, and my heavenly Father can handle it all!
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
Since I have been intentionally asking my son to trust me, I have been pleasantly surprised that many times he answers, “Ok mommy, I trust you.” Wow! I think that comes out of the close relationship that we have, and his confidence that I do want the best for Him. This is another reminder to me to stay in close relationship with my heavenly Father through prayer and the study of His word. There are other times when He will say, “It’s hard to trust you, mommy.” I like this answer too. Sometimes it is hard to trust God when we don’t understand His plan in the moment. What a great opportunity to talk with my child about trusting even when it isn’t easy!
“Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in You.” Psalm 84:12
When I hold my children’s hands to lead them safety across the street, I am reminded of my loving God who wants to lead me down the best path for my good and His glory every day.
We want our children to trust us with all of their hearts, because we love them with all of ours! We want good for them. God wants us to trust Him in the same way, because He loves us even more! Will you trust Him with all of your heart?