This is originally from January 1, 2011. I’m reposting it today, over eight years later. When I wrote it, Caroline was not yet four and a half. She will be thirteen in ten days. We have wandered in the desert quite a bit during that time regarding churches and such. But God gives me glimpses of how He is working in her life, even in ways I haven’t prayed about specifically. That gives me such encouragement.
I’ve been contemplating this from Streams in the Desert:
“There remaineth, therefore, a rest to the people of God” (Heb. 4:9).
The rest includes victory, “And the Lord gave them rest round about; . . . the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand” (Joshua 21:44).
“He will beautify the meek with victory” (Ps. 149:4). (Rotherham, margin)
An eminent Christian worker tells of his mother who was a very anxious and troubled Christian. He would talk with her by the hour trying to convince her of the sinfulness of fretting, but to no avail. She was like the old lady who once said she had suffered so much, especially from the troubles that never came.
But one morning the mother came down to breakfast wreathed in smiles. He asked her what had happened, and she told him that in the night she had a dream.
She was walking along a highway with a great crowd of people who seemed so tired and burdened. They were nearly all carrying little black bundles, and she noticed that there were numerous repulsive looking beings which she thought were demons dropping these black bundles for the people to pick up and carry.
Like the rest, she too had her needless load, and was weighed down with the devil’s bundles. Looking up, after a while, she saw a Man with a bright and loving face, passing hither and thither through the crowd, and comforting the people.
At last He came near her, and she saw that it was her Saviour. She looked up and told Him how tired she was, and He smiled sadly and said:
“My dear child, I did not give you these loads; you have no need of them. They are the devil’s burdens and they are wearing out your life. Just drop them; refuse to touch them with one of your fingers and you will find the path easy and you will be as if borne on eagle’s wings.”
He touched her hand, and lo, peace and joy thrilled her frame and, flinging down her burden, she was about to throw herself at His feet in joyful thanksgiving, when suddenly she awoke and found that all her cares were gone. From that day to the close of her life she was the most cheerful and happy member of the household.
And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents like the Arabs,
And as silently steal away.
I often think about how Caroline as a teen and later as an adult will describe me as her mother. Does she see Christ in me? Does she see the joy of Christ in me? Does she see faith? Does she see peace? Does she see me joyfully serving Christ or fretting under the enemy’s burdens?
A heritage of faith is not gained in a day or a week or a month. It is gained over many years of a parent faithfully serving the Lord and the child observing. It is gained over many years of a parent faithfully praying for the child. It is gained over many years of the child observing a love and respect for the Bible. It is gained over many years of the parents demonstrating a joy in being in the Lord’s house and worshiping with His people. It is gained through countless moments and conversations where the parent demonstrates the supreme importance of God, faith, salvation, and the state of the child’s eternal soul.
Giving Caroline a heritage of faith started long before David and I met. It started with our waiting for each other and God’s timing. It continued with praying for many years for a child. It continued with her birth. It continues today, this day, as we seek to walk with Him and give her an example to follow.
It is humbling to think that in just a very few short years she will really start to examine our faith, our actions, our professions. Yes, she is already doing it to some degree, but as she gets older her examination of our faith will become more probing, more intense and, perhaps, more questioning. I pray that God will give me the courage, grace, stamina, and hope to look forward to those opportunities in the days ahead. I pray that she will know a joyful mother who walks with Christ and steadily eschews the devil’s destructive burdens.