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Sweetest Praise

Posted around lunch time by Jackina Stark

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve written, but I want to continue and complete this series about teaching our children and their children after them. I’ve been talking about teaching them to trust and want to tell you about a time I came to understand that my child had, in fact, learned to trust God.

This took place during a season that began the day Leanne and her husband Scott were told by a fertility specialist that they would never have children. Up to that time, this was clearly the saddest day of our lives. She had loved babies since she was one, and I had imagined their little arms around my neck since the day Leanne married Scott.

When they stood in our entry and tried to explain to me what the doctor had said, they leaned against the wall for support, and at one point cried in my arms.

But even as they were wiping tears from their faces, I heard each of them talking about God’s goodness and a plan He must have for them.

Some days were so sad for Leanne that she didn’t want to get out of bed, but she turned over each painful day to God. Friends asked her how she could be so happy when it seemed the desire of her heart would never be. She told them she tried to live out Phil. 4:8-“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.”

She lived a life of praise. In fact, she told me about an experience nearly a year after her diagnosis. She read the events of those saddest of days in her journal and didn’t shed a tear. But when she put her journal down and began to thank God for the blessings that were hers, including his friendship and her hope of eternal life, she began to cry.

I thanked God in my heart for such a child and told my daughter that she had demonstrated spiritual maturity.

Leanne was quite ready for God to change the desire of her heart, but instead he brought an eight-year-old boy into their lives. She had written in her journal that if God ever brought her a child, she would name a girl Mariah, because it means “God will provide” and a boy “Sam” because it means “Asked of God.”

Leanne had trusted God would work things for her good, but she had no idea he’d bring a darling little boy “who needed a family” into her life. Or that his name would be Scott, her husband’s name, and that even while she was meeting Scott she would be pregnant with Mariah and that two years later Sam would complete the family.

Not surprisingly, they have known sorrow since Scott was so sweetly adopted into the family. (Life in this fallen world is seldom easy.) Scott, unsure of what he wanted to do following high school, joined the army and was gravely injured in Iraq, losing both legs below the knee. I believe it was Leanne’s trust that helped them all survive, and eventually thrive, during his long recovery.

There are so many ways to teach children to trust God. Showing them they can tithe (begin by showing them how you did it when it didn’t seem possible), telling them of needs God has supplied, showing them they can do things with the help of the Holy Spirit they thought they could never do.

By doing this you’ll equip them for the hard times ahead and equip them for challenge and growth. When Stacey was in high school, she wrote on an application for a mission’s trip words that cheered a mom who wanted to equip her children for spiritual battle:

     In one word, I would say Jesus is my peace. I feel so confident that no matter what happens to me, however tragic, I will be fine. I will be more than fine, because Jesus is with me and would never give me more than   I could bear. I take great comfort in that.

And I have taken great comfort in children who learned to trust the One who upholds them in his strong right hand.