Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“You saw how the Lord your God cared for you all along the way as you traveled through the wilderness, just as a father cares for his child.”
Deuteronomy 1:31 (NLT)
You could feel the cold front beginning to creep into the area that night a few years ago as my son, Nathan, and his five-year-old daughter, Ellie Kate, left for their Girl Scout Daddy-Daughter Dance. And so with a delicate corsage gracing her dainty wrist to highlight a beautiful dress, her Daddy also draped her in a matching overcoat to protect her precious, tiny person from the approach of the penetrating colder temperatures.
The digital pictures which were taken did their best to capture the moments of their time together at the Girl Scout daddy-daughter dance. But even the pictures couldn’t capture the gleam in her daddy’s eye as he painted the picture of Ellie Kate making her way through the crowd at the dance to receive what she described afterwards as the award she and her daddy won dancing together. It was a door prize—but you can tell her that at your own peril. To her, she and her daddy won the prize while dancing together.
Is there a powder we can sprinkle on our children and grandchildren to keep them from growing up? Or at least, from growing up too fast? Is there a shelter we can house them in to protect them from the cold winds which will inevitably blow through their lives?
Oh how I wish it were like that daddy-daughter dance for all children! For all times. Where children felt they were deeply loved all the time. Where every moment of every day, children would catch a glimpse of God’s love for them through those entrusted with their care. Where the voices of those close to them connect them to the quiet voice of a God who is always pursuing them, and always loves them.
Maybe it’s we adults who need a powder someone can sprinkle over us. Some of us would just need a dash and some of us might need to be covered from head to toe. A powder to keep all of us as well-meaning caregivers from trying to mold our children into something they’re not.
A powder to keep us from teaching our children by our actions and words that we would rather be with others than with them. A powder to prevent us from subjecting our children to the same system of “earned love” we may have experienced as children—rather than modeling the example of the unmerited love of God.
Our children grow up like too many of us have done—trying to be and impersonating someone they’re not. Someone they were not created to be. And no matter how many church services, Sunday school classes, or functions they attend, they too often have trouble hearing the voice of God whispering to them. And so they seek approval through what they do, what they wear, what they have, and what they look like—until the still, small voice of God becomes silent in their lives.
God cares for us the way a father would and should. All of us who are fathers would do well to mirror God’s example in the care of our own children.
Maybe there’s a powder. Or maybe there’s a daddy-daughter dance. Maybe there’s just you and me.
What would it look like if we were to care for our children as God does? Let’s do that today, for them and all those around us who need to sense His presence and love in their lives.
In His Name—Scott
Copyright 2016. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.