|I Struggled to Give My Son a Faith I Didn’t Have|
I flew out of bed at the sound of Brian’s chilling screams. My five-year-old sometimes had bad dreams, but this was different. The air in his room seemed charged with danger and dread.
“It’s okay, honey.” I sat on Brian’s bed and patted his hands. “I’m right here. It’s just a nightmare.” I tried to assure both of us.
Brian’s body remained rigid with terror. I flicked on the overhead light, kissed his cheek, and carried him to the rocker. Brian was inconsolable.
It occurred to me that I should pray. In fact, I should pray out loud. But what if I prayed, and God did nothing? Brian was just learning about God. I needed to protect his young faith against the slings and arrows of outrageous life. Sometimes God’s “mysterious ways” made me doubt his providence altogether. “It’s okay, honey. Really. Shhhh,” I hushed in motherly tones. But Brian’s fear was building, not abating.
“Sweetheart,” I said in desperation, “let’s talk to God about this.”
“Dear God,” I began.
Between the words “Dear” and “God,” Brian’s little body went limp with peace. My prayer wasn’t compelling, memorable, or well-spoken—a lackluster string of words—but it didn’t matter. The moment, the meeting, belonged to my son and God. My prayer trailed off with a final “Amen.”
As I rocked my peaceful child, I realized I’d had a wake-up call. Not Brian’s terrified screams in the middle of the night, but a wake-up call concerning my lack of faith. After all, I’d been afraid to pray out loud with my son. I’d had so little trust that God would come through. Also, it seemed I was interpreting the struggles in my life as some sign of abandonment. When God’s answers weren’t what I’d hoped for, I felt He hadn’t answered at all.
Brian stretched, repositioned himself in my arms, and laid his head back on my shoulder. The warmth of his body comforted me.
I knew I had so much spiritual growing to do. I remembered the man in Scripture who asked Jesus to heal his son, telling Jesus, “I do believe. Help my unbelief“ (Mark 9:24 KJV). I could identify! If doubts are part of being human, if they are natural, I needed the supernatural. I needed God’s grace. I knew faith was a gift God longed to give.
Brian interrupted my thoughts, sitting upright in my lap. His eyes wide with wonder, his little voice solemn with awe, Brian whispered, “Mommy, how did He get here so quick?”
Today, be aware.
God’s Life floods your heart.
It’s always Raining Grace.