Figure it out

Jackson works to build his fort

Jackson works to build his fort

Jackson brought a box into the living room, and dumped all of the contents out with the intentions of building a fort that morning. After putting a few pieces together, he started getting frustrated. The angles weren’t just right, and the braces wouldn’t stay without a good bit of effort.

Mom, will you help me do this?

Of course, I would love to help him build his fort! We had worked together on several different designs before. But, I knew he could do this on his own. He had the problem-solving skills to piece it together. He just needed to exercise the patience it would take to complete it.

So, I encouraged my son to figure it out.

That wasn’t what he was expecting me to say. In fact, Jackson was frustrated with me at first. So, I gave him the space he needed to realize building his fortress was worth the work.

God often challenges us in the same way. He invites us to build right by His side. Then, He hands us the hammer, and lets us try on our own. He shows us how, then gives us hands-on opportunities to put His principles into action.

We will probably not get it at first. We may become frustrated, and ask God to bail us out or do it for us. God doesn’t always give us the answer. In some situations, He loves us too much to intervene.

God doesn’t have to give us the shortcut or fix every problem we face. Sometimes He allows us to figure it out. With the Bible as our guide, God wants us to step out in faith and put into practice what we’ve learned. We may make mistakes. We might not have instant success. Things probably won’t turn out exactly like we thought they would. But along the way, we learn lessons about perseverance, humility, gratitude and how great God really is. Through the challenges, we grow.

Jackson decided to keep building. With some trial and error, the pieces came together. He stuck with it. He persevered.

When he was close to finishing, my son called me back into the room to watch. The last piece went into place, and Jackson leaped into the air with his arms outstretched. He did it! He was so excited!! We celebrated his accomplishment together with high fives and hugs. 🙂

He did it!

He did it!

Today, stay close to God and keep going, keep trying. Listen to God in prayer and through His Word, then actively obey. Persevere!

And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.
– Romans 5:4

Strawberry Shortcake shortcomings: Lessons on child-like faith

What's Lauren's first thought when she wakes up? Play with me Mom!

What’s Lauren’s first thought when she wakes up? Play with me Mom!

Mommy, will you play Strawberry Shortcake with me?

I didn’t even open my eyes. As I turned over in bed, my groggy, early morning brain responded, “Not yet, sweetie.”

But Mom, I want to play with you right now!

My five-year-old daughter crawled into bed with me, knowing I wasn’t going to budge for a while. (This was the second morning she woke me up with this request.) Though she proceeded to ask me again, and again, to play with her favorite toy of the week, she let me lay there and process it was morning.

Thirty minutes later, I finally had enough gumption to sit up and stumble into the bathroom. My persistent daughter stood outside the closed door waiting for me to be ready to play dolls.

I was then escorted to the living room where we sat down and began playing with her Strawberry Shortcake posse, which she already had lined all out with their accessories.

To be honest, I still wanted to be in bed. I needed more rest! But how many times can you deny those beautiful, eager eyes?

She just wanted to be with me.

My daughter couldn’t contain her delighted smile as we tried different outfits on Strawberry Shortcake. As I watched her imagination sparkle, I realized I was in the presence of child-like faith.

  • She keeps asking until she receives what she desires.
  • She absolutely trusts that I love her and will protect and care for her.
  • She believes implicitly in what she cannot see.
  • She finds joy in the simplest circumstances.
  • She can’t help but dance when no one is watching, and when everyone is.
  • She longs to spend time with me.

This is the kind of faith that pleases God. This is the faith God wants me to have.

God desires for me to persevere in my prayers.

Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you.
– Matthew 7:7

God wants me to trust Him completely, to know without a doubt that He loves me and He will provide.

For I am persuaded that not even death or life,
angels or rulers,
things present or things to come, hostile powers,
height or depth, or any other created thing
will have the power to separate us
from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!
– Romans 8:38-39

And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
– Philippians 4:19

God’s will is for my faith to be strong, believing in the beauty and reality of His promises.

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.
And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
– Hebrews 11:1, 6

God wants my life to be marked by joy, in every circumstance giving glory to Him.

The Lord is my strength and shield.
I trust him with all my heart.
He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.
I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.
– Psalm 28:7

In fact, God overflows my heart with His goodness and love, and gives me countless reasons to worship Him: in song, in dance, in word and in service.

Let Israel celebrate its Maker;
let the children of Zion rejoice in their King.
Let them praise His name with dancing
and make music to Him with tambourine and lyre.
– Psalm 149:2-3

Most of all, God wants me to be with Him. He came to Earth for me. He died for me. He rose from the grave so I could be with Him forever.

Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.
– Ephesians 1:4-8

I am God’s precious child, no matter how long I live on this earth. Instead of being the cranky adult who can barely wake up in the morning, I want to be fresh and wide-eyed in my faith, just like my baby girl. I should deeply desire to be by my Heavenly Father’s side, eagerly anticipating what we get to do together that day.

May my heart simply long to be with Jesus.