Children are a wonderful gift from God. I only have one son, but I am very thankful for having him in my life. I am also thankful that God has made him a kind, compassionate, creative, and funny young man. I’ve always said that no one has ever made me laugh and smile as much as my son.
My son is a teenager now, but he still likes to spend time with his dad and me. We talk about all sorts of things, and share some favorite music, such as Jeremy Camp, Newsboys, Johnny Cash, and Skillet. He’s getting quite tall and reminds me of my dad, not only in how he looks but in how friendly he is with others. He’s just a great kid, and so I decided to write my Thankful Thursday poem about him today.
“Take my faith and make it real”
That was his prayer
You answered it
“Protect my son and make him humble”
That was my prayer
You answered it
“Be kind and compassionate to one another”
That was Your prayer
You answered it in him
The first stanza of this poem is based on something that happened when my son was in the second or third grade. I was driving him to school and we were listening to Third Day’s Offerings CD. There is a “hidden track” on that CD that is the same track number as the last song and comes after about a minute or two of silence. It’s called “Don’t Let Me Go.” The first verse is:
Take my heart and help me feel
Take my faith and make it real
Take my eyes and help me see
All the love surrounding me
When Mark Lee sang “Take my faith and make it real” my son said, “That’s what I want.” I really believe God heard that childlike prayer and has truly granted it.
The second stanza is always my prayer for my son. He’s 16, and does have a bit of that teenage “I know it all” attitude, but I trust that God will answer this prayer as well.
The prayer of the third stanza comes from Ephesians 4:32. I could tell a hundred stories of how kind and compassionate, how truly generous and thoughtful my son is. But I just want to share three. One time when he was in the third grade, my son took a gallon-sized ziplock bag of Pokemon toys to school for show and tell. We almost couldn’t get the bag zipped because he had so many. When I picked him up after school, he had less than half the Pokemon in the bag. I asked him what had happened and he said he had given away all of his doubles because some other kids didn’t have any.
Another time, when he was a bit older, we were getting ready for church. I asked him if he was going to bring an offering for Sunday school because it was the last day that they were collecting for the kids at our sister church in Haiti to go to school. He went into his room and came out with all the money he had saved up — $26 — and announced that he was going to put it all in the offering. I told him he didn’t have to give it all, but he said he wanted to.
The last story is from just last weekend at church. One of my friends shared her testimony of what our Wordstrong reading program for Lent had meant to her. It was a very touching testimony, and all the more special because, as she put it, she “would rather have pneumonia than be up here speaking.” My son watched from the sound booth where he was running the slides. After church, as we were walking out to the car he said, “I went and gave L a hug.” Can you imagine a 16-year-old kid giving a hug to his mom’s friend where anyone could see? That’s the kind of thing most teenagers would rather have pneumonia than do! But he knew she would be blessed by his hug, and so that’s what he did.
Children truly are a blessing from God and it is our responsibility as parents to teach them of God’s love, nurture their faith, pray for them, and thank God for the work He does in their hearts.
He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:2-4 (NIV)