Wednesday, January 4, 2012
The view from our table
My children discovered a new favorite football movie, Facing the Giants, over the holiday break. For those of you who haven’t seen it, it is a great family movie, despite the low budget and no-name actors. After the fourth time of viewing it, my children had happily embraced the message and truth. And after the fourth time, mommy was ready to hide the dvd. But I was happy that they were enjoying the positive message. At one point in the film, the coach tells his team that "If we win, we praise God. If we lose, we praise God." Good stuff.
Skip ahead to a few days after Christmas and our usual trip to the Henrico dump to dispose of our holiday trash and attic clean-out. In the process of throwing out boxes, my engagement ring made its way into a truck sized dumpster. As soon as we discovered that it was missing, we made plans with the staff at the dump to arrive back the next day at 7:30am to dig through the dumpster in search of my ring. That evening at the dinner table we were prompted by our son to pray that we might find my jewelry the next morning. During the prayer, I said something along the lines of "no matter what happens, we trust You God." My 5 year old perked up and quickly made the connection between what I prayed and his favorite part of the movie. "Mommy, we could say...If we find the ring, we praise God. If we don't find the ring, we praise God." I was deeply moved by the moment and realized that my child had just spoken great truth to me.
That next day, while I stood at the top of the Henrico dump, freezing cold with tears of frustration streaming down my face, I was given hope by those words my son spoke. Despite hours of digging and searching, we never found my ring, but I believe we have gained something worth more than all the diamonds in the world. Even in the tough times, my family was united. We didn't shelter our children from the frustration we were experiencing, but we embraced it as a moment to grow together. And thankfully we took time to listen to our children, because it was their words that had us remembering all that we have to be thankful for, even in tough times. We were given a gift of truth through our children and it was a moment at the table that gave us the strength to persevere.
I do not know what your New Year is like and what your family is dealing with as we move into 2012. In the grand scheme, a lost ring is so minor in comparison to some of the pain and suffering people are experiencing around us. But I encourage you to go through it with your family. Invite your kids into the good and the bad. Talk about what God is teaching you and listen to what they have to say about His truth. This is what keeping the end in mind is about. Faith isn’t about our current circumstances, no matter how painful they are, but remembering that God will work through our lives in ways that we can't even begin to imagine.
In facing a time of trial in Daniel 3:16-18, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego said these words as they were about to be thrown in a fiery furnace. "17If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." Basically, this was the lesson we were learning at our dinner table. Whether we survive our trials, win the game, find the ring....or not, no matter what He is worthy of praise. I believe that God is doing something big in our hearts, even through our suffering, and He can do the same for you.
Today, let's begin embracing those moments of family time together.