We read about King Joash tonight.
How he was 7 years old when he became king.
How his uncle helped him rule until Joash grew to be a man.
How Joash repaired the temple.
How he served and loved God.
And then his uncle, a Godly influence, died.
And Joash became influenced by those who did not love God.
And Joash followed their ways.
And Joash dishonored God.
And Joash was killed in his sleep.
I think my heart was aching by the end.
I live my days trying, as best I know how, to teach my children the truth.
I watch and wait for everyday moments to point out the God-graces.
I cherish kitchen conversations with teachable moments...
the unexpected child-questions that lead to deep theological talks.
And I smile when I think my husband and I are laying a foundation of faith for their lives.
And then there's Joash.
His story crushes my mother-heart.
I am reminded there are no guarantees for my children's salvation.
I am reminded that a strong start does not secure a strong finish.
I am reminded their faith, or lack thereof, must become theirs completely.
And these reminders would leave me feeling downright hopeless,
if not for one privilege God has granted this
floundering, flawed, trying-to-be-faithful momma.
I can pray.
I can get on my heart-knees and plead for my children.
I can ask God's favor for them.
I can sneak up to their beds after they've drifted to dreamland,
place my hand on their foreheads, and intercede.
In the practice of prayer for my children,
I am reminded God loves them more than I do.
I am reminded God knows what's best for them.
I am reminded God is able.
I am reminded God is wisdom.
I am reminded they belong to God.
So, while my heart feels a little raw tonight from Joash's story,
I choose to let it lead me to greater trust through fervent prayer
for 3 of the most precious gifts God has granted me.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.