LET’S ASK JESUS
Ask, “Jesus, if You could write a letter to my child, what would it say?”
God speaks to us in various ways, but one powerful way He speaks to His children is through peace.
Peace – a sense of liquid peace comes over you like a warm blanket. Do you know that God is peace? Pure, 100% peace that doesn’t match your physical, on-earth circumstances. When we sit quietly and invite His presence, we can often feel it in the form of peace washing over us. What does a loving Father do when His children are upset? Begin giving instruction? NO! A loving Father would scoop them up, hold them close to His chest, and embrace their tiny bodies. He is communicating love, protection, safety, and security in His embrace. Sometimes we want God to tell us this and that, and sometimes He just wants to wrap us in His presence, and out of that, He leads us where we need to be. This is truly ‘entering the place of rest’ that so few believers learn to enjoy. We want to squirm or ‘do’ instead of just resting while He holds us.
Think about what life would be like if you went mute and had to try to teach, train, and love your children without words. Seriously, think about how many times a day you use your words to guide your children, teach and train them, encourage them, cheer them on, and help them. How often do you use your words to lavish love all over them and tell them how precious and beautiful they are to you? Now ponder how often you let your Father speak to you a day.
Gather the family in the family room and share this story with them.
The only bird that dares to peck at an eagle is the crow. He sits on his back and bites his neck. However, the eagle does not respond or fight with the crow; it doesn’t waste time or energy on it! It simply opens its wings and begins to rise higher in the heavens. The higher the flight, the harder it is for the crow to breathe, and then the crow falls due to lack of oxygen. Stop wasting your time with the crows. Just take them to your heights, and they’ll fade. The enemy will sit behind your back and bite your neck… “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:31).
Discuss ways they have encountered a pestering crow. It may be through siblings, friends, a hurtful situation, or a lie they believe. Ask, “Why is going higher so important?” Talk through specific ways they can rise above and hold their head up high like an eagle.
In the days ahead, when they are dealing with pesky crows, remind them of this teaching and together ask Jesus how they can SOAR higher in that situation. In a world full of crows… be an eagle.
When I was in my early 20s, I was roommates with a gal who was younger than me but more mature in every way. I would describe her as having Jesus in one hand and my hand in the other, and she would constantly introduce us in new ways. I learned so much from her. One day I had an appointment to get my car worked on, and she agreed to pick me up. I got my car checked in and was waiting outside for her. She was late – like really late. I wandered the sidewalk for over 30 minutes, growing more and more agitated. When she finally appeared, she found me in my car, speeding off without having the work done. I was mad. VERY mad. I punished her with the silent treatment and refused to talk to her. Over the years, I felt bad for how I treated her and gained some maturity in realizing that it was pretty lame of me to be so upset when she was going out of her way to help me. The memory always told the story of my bad behavior and being so rude, but I heard God say, “Ask Me to show you what I saw,” and I saw this picture in my mind of a little girl shaking; she was so scared by being left alone at night outside. She was surrounded by fear and intimidation as she was utterly unprotected and vulnerable. I realized at that moment my reaction to her had little to do with a friend who was late to pick me up and more about it triggering my memory of being vulnerable, alone, and left behind. My strong reaction was not about being impatient but about trying to feel protected and safe again. Over the years, I have learned about these splinters in our hearts that cause big reactions when touched. God does not want us to manage them but be FREE from them.
How about you? Do you have a memory that pops up often in your mind that tells the story of how ‘bad’ or wrong you behaved? Ask Jesus to show you what He sees.
Ask, “Jesus, if You were here in the flesh, how would You handle my children?” (You may be surprised by the answer).
“Jesus, would You be willing to reveal to me what needs to come into alignment in our family?”
Invite the children to join you in the family room with their pillows. Have them stand on their pillow and act out this childhood song. Find it on YouTube and let it serve as a reminder of our safe footing.
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus Christ, my righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.
When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale, My anchor holds within the veil.
His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stays.
When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
In Him, my righteousness, alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.
“Jesus, will You show me a picture of something You did for me yesterday?”
Gather as a family in the living room, in the car, at the dinner table, or at bedtime, and ask Jesus together. This is empowering for children because it gives you a chance to model how you communicate with God, increase their faith, and encounter Him as a family. Spiritual hearing is a muscle that is strengthened over time, such as worshiping and praying. The more you do it, the stronger you become at it.
Years ago, I felt this insane craving to be alone with the Lord. I booked a hotel, got the four kids situated, and took off for my 24-hour date with Jesus. I spent my quiet alone time making my grocery list, journaling my thoughts, getting food, responding to emails, and reading a book. When it was over, I was physically refreshed but spiritually dry. I realized I treated my ‘date with Jesus’ as if I were the only one at the table and did all the talking. The second time I booked my 24-hour date with Jesus, I took nothing but my Bible, journal, and a large jug of water. My soul came alive. It was just Him and me, and I left feeling like we had spent a month together on a deserted island. I vowed I would make it a priority to get away at least twice a year.
When I became a single mom, I realized I couldn’t do it anymore because of finances. I heard God say so clearly, “Do not ever let money be a deciding factor between us,” and, in faith, I booked a hotel room on my credit card. Someone graciously took my children for the night, and I had the most glorious time with Him. There was a glitch with the hotel, and they ended up giving me the hotel for FREE. I laughed and vowed once again that I would never let anything stand in the way of my 24-hour dates with Him. Fast forward over a decade, and I am still sneaking away. There is no price tag to put on your intentional time with Him.
Gather the children in the family room and bring their blankets. Read together Mark 4:35-41 and have them pretend they are in a boat that is rocking back and forth (you role-play too). If you really want to give visual effects, use a fan (wind), spray bottle (rain), and flashlight (lighting). The point being there is a STORM all around them. Then have them get under their blanket and lay down quietly for a couple of minutes. Talk to the children about Jesus’ peace in the middle of the storm. There is so much going on around us, but Jesus promises never to leave us to endure the storm alone. We can get in Jesus’ bubble, where He calms and protects us and showers us with His peace. Practice this on the days when you or the children feel out of sorts, anxious, or worried. “Hey sweetie, remember when we learned about the storm and Jesus? Do you want to get in Jesus’ bubble now?”
Talk to the children about truth – what is truth? Can God’s Word be changed? Are our emotions facts? Talk about rainstorms and how the sky sometimes turns dark. Guess what? The sun is STILL shining, but you can’t see it because the clouds form a layer blocking your eyes from the truth that the sun is still there. We can sometimes feel that God is not powerful, or maybe even like He doesn’t care, but that is not the truth – that is the ‘evidence’ of the storm clouds, not the sun. Sometimes we have to stand on the truth that the sun is always there even if our eyes can’t see it. Think of a time you felt alone, scared, or ignored. Ask Jesus to show you where He was. It is important for children to be taught to keep their eyes on the sun, not the storm. It may look and feel true, but is it THE truth? Read Hebrews 6:19 together and discuss the purpose of an anchor. Anchors aren’t needed where the waters are still, yet they are lifelines when the sea rages, tossing the boat against the waves. We are anchored to His Son.
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