I have a four-year-old. Her name is Lucy. There are many fears a mother has in raising a little girl: Am I teaching her confidence? I pray no one ever hurts her. Will she talk to me if someone does? Will she talk to me at all? Will she hate me when she’s a teenager? Will she be picked on in school? Was that the right way to teach her that lesson? Will she have a relationship with the Lord? Will she serve Him when she’s no longer in my home?
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
I believe I’m doing that to the best of my ability. Lucy knows that we love Jesus and that we go to church on Sundays and Wednesdays. She loves children’s church and memorizing her verses. She understands that we are kind to others and that she is to obey her parents. While I’m so thankful for all of these things, some of the most special and teachable moments happen when you aren’t anticipating them.
Earlier this year, May 21st to be exact, Lucy and I were laying in her bed. She was frightened by the thunder and lightning from the storm outside. I scooted close to her and told her that she did not need to be afraid because God protects us. “He does?” she asked.
“Yes!” I explained to her that Jesus is always with us even though we can’t see him, because He lives in our hearts. Her countenance instantly changed. Her face lit up and she giggled with joy, as she grabbed her chest. This was one of those moments you wish you could capture on video but pray that a mental picture will serve your memory well. A few minutes passed and I could see her wheels were turning. She looked at me and asked, “Mom, how do we get to God?” This of course led to a bit longer conversation. It was a discussion we definitely needed to have but if she was trying to con me into just staying up later, it worked. We talked about loving God, what sinning is, and the importance of obedience. I didn’t talk about Jesus’ death and resurrection that evening because I feel that she’s too young to handle that conversation.
More minutes passed and this little girl whispered, “Mom, I still see the lightning.” I told her to roll over so that she couldn’t see the window. I held her tight. She asked me to sing to her. I sang, “You are my Sunshine,” and “Oh, how I love Jesus,” until she finally drifted off to sleep.
The next evening brought more storms. Tornado sirens sounded throughout our town of Jefferson City. She slept through the noise. Her dad and I rushed into our most interior room with her, as an EF-3 tornado ripped through our city. I strapped her bike helmet to her head and sent frantic texts to all of our family. She awoke a couple times and told me God was protecting us. She knew He was, and that assurance brought her rest through the storm.
A few months have passed now. Lucy sees rainbows and tells me they are from God. She sleeps through storms. She has peace in knowing of His protection.
“‘Though the mountains be shaken and hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the Lord, who has compassion on you” (Isaiah 54:10).
The lessons Lucy is learning, are re-teaching me. While she had to learn about peace in a literal storm, I am learning to have peace in life’s storms by casting my burdens to the Lord. Those fears I mentioned earlier, that mothers have, are my burdens and I surrender them into His hands. For He knows far better than I and I trust Him to protect her.