I guess it’s only logical that because I spend all day with my 2-year old son, I draw a lot of inspiration from the things he does and says. This week was no different. As he nears age 3, which I can barely even think about, I have started talking more to him about Jesus. We pray together everyday, sing Jesus loves me sometimes and read Bible stories every once in awhile. But it’s hard for me to really know exactly when to start diving in a little deeper to make Jesus more than an abstract concept.
Prayer seems to have become important to his daily ritual. I used to only pray at night, but then he started asking me to “pay” before his nap. I, of course, let him know in my “I mean business Mommy tone” that it was not time to “play,” it was time to sleep. I have discussed earlier how important that free time is to me. But after a few days and his persistence to “pay,” I finally realized he was wanting me to “pray.” Conversations with a toddler are so hit and miss as far as really understanding where they are going with any given topic.
Then the other day we started getting a little more specific about Jesus because one of the things that interrupts my afternoon of silence is that he is afraid of the wind. If I have heard the phrase, “What dat sound?” once, I have heard it a hundred times. “It’s just the wind, sweetie, it’s not going to hurt you. Pleeaaasssee go back to sleep.” But he never does, the wind ruins my period of bliss every time. So I thought I would try explaining how Jesus lives inside us and promises to never leave us. He is always there to protect him and keep him safe, so the wind could never hurt him.
It’s interesting to watch a small child try to take in such an idea. I pointed to his heart when I told him the story to let him know Jesus was right in there. I watched him as he felt all around his stomach, up to his throat and back down again. “Oooh,” he delighted, as he finally thought he had it all figured out. “There’s Jesus,” he said and pointed near his rib section with a big grin on his face. Then after only a moment’s thought on it he concluded, “Nope, that’s just my bones, I missed.” And that was the end of that. Next thing I know, he went to his old standby, “You play, Mommy?” Yes, of course, monster trucks here I come.
Concept of Jesus: 0 for 1.
It was worth a try, though, because I do want him to know he’s safe and does not have to be afraid. Even as an adult, it’s hard sometimes to remember we are protected and our fear does not come from God. But no one goes through life without being afraid at some point. Life is scary. It is filled with uncertainty. My phone call at 6:19 am last June confirmed that for me. It was one of the most fear-filled days of my life, hearing news I may lose my mom. If we let it, we could become consumed by fear. I know I was very close to it that day.
There have also been times, though, that just like my son, I thought I had it all figured out. I choose not to be afraid because I felt like I found Jesus in my life. Maybe it was one of our 15 moves that I viewed as beneficial, or some path that seemed to make sense. “Aha, now I see,” I’ve often celebrated. And sometimes maybe I’m right, but other times I feel like, “Nope, that’s just my bones. I missed.”
I will continue to teach my son to search for Jesus, even when at times He seems hard to find. He will have to look deeply when life throws something at him more difficult to handle and scarier than the sound of the wind. But the more consistently he looks, the more likely he is to find Him. Because of what I have seen in my own life and know to be true, although we are consistently on the move, Jesus is a rock. He has always been in the same place, waiting for us to point to Him, ready to ease our fears in this life.
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