Sometimes the best advice and perspective come from places you'd never expect. Like a 3 year old. But God used my little Eli today to teach us a very valuable lesson.
As I'm sure most of you can identify with, Alison and I have a monthly (sometimes weekly) ritual: look at the bills, look in our bank account, stress out hardcore. It's a dance we've perfected from practice, though we'd love nothing more than to get off the dance floor. Every time it seems like we're going to get ahead, something sets us back. This month, it happened to be the fact that I'm not getting enough hours at work, and we've got both kids' birthdays this week. We also have family coming in town, and for some reason our credit card bill is coming due early. So, like every paycheck-to-paycheck month, the dance began. Alison sat down in her chair and started to cry. She looked at me through her tears and pleaded, "do you have any advice to get us through this?" Much to my dismay, I was at a loss.
But our three year old was not.
He walked into the living room and saw Alie crying and said, "mommy, why do you feel crying?" When Alie didn't answer, Eli sweetly said, "don't worry mommy. I'll get you a tissue." Upon returning with the tissue, he said, "Mommy, I need to tell you something." We looked at him, expecting what would normally come out of his mouth (something about ninja turtles, dinosaurs or Sharknado), and said "what son?"
"First of all," he said, "I love you. You're my favorite. Daddy is my favorite too. Second of all, Marisol is the sweetest girl for our family. And lastly, but not least, you answer my questions when I'm talking to you."
While Alison and I struggled to keep a straight face at his usage of "lastly but not least," Eli continued: "Ok guys. I'm gonna pray now. I'm gonna pray for our family."
He bowed his head, folded his hands, closed his eyes and prayed a simple, beautiful prayer. "Dear God, thank you for our family, so that we all love each other. In Jesus name, amen."
He then gave us both big hugs and kisses, told us he loved us, then asked "can I have a snack and a drink?"
Though he may not have articulated it the way that an adult would (although you have to admit, he's pretty articulate for a three year old), Eli reminded us of a powerful lesson: we have the Lord, and we have each other. That's all that matters. God has richly blessed us in so many ways that we take for granted in the hard times, and we need to remember to stop and be thankful. Eli doesn't have a worry in the world, because he has simple faith that his needs will be met. Today, he turned our eyes back to Jesus and reminded us to have that same faith. We are in the hands of a God who loves us richly, so we can rest easy, and have a snack and a drink. #perspective
In Matthew 6, Jesus said, "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear... For the pagans run after these things, and your Heavenly Father knows you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself."
I don't know what you are dealing with today. Whether you are on top of the world, or worried about where your next meal will be coming from. But I do know this: we have a God who loves us with an indescribable love, and when we place our faith in him he will father us with his grace. Life won't always be easy, but God will always be good.
I have been given the task of leading my family spiritually. But today, my three year old son did that for me. Matteo Elijah, I'm proud of you son.