Adam and Isaiah do devotions and pray together every morning before Adam leaves for the office. The other day Adam came into the kitchen afterwards and warned me that our little boy was a upset by what he had learned and may be a little sensitive to it throughout the day. He knows our son (who happens to be quite a bit like his Mama) well. 🙂
Upset from his preschooler devotional book? I definitely wasn’t anticipating the conversations that they became the catalyst for…
With tears filling his eyes, my sweet little boy cried, “Mommy, I don’t want a new house in Heaven! I want to stay in this house!”
Now I am extremely grateful for the house that we live in, but I also could do without flooded basements, quirky wiring, random peg board, stained carpet, old furnaces, and clogged drains. I’m pretty sure the home Jesus is preparing for me will have none of the above. Still, this home is the only one my son knows. The only one that his 3 year old mind can right now comprehend. To Isaiah, this house is the definition of “good”.
I know my son well enough to know that our house wasn’t the only thing on his mind…
“I want to stay in this house with you. I don’t want to go to Heaven! I want to stay here with you and Daddy!”
We talked and cuddled awhile until he eventually calmed down. In those moments, I thought of C.S. Lewis’ writing on whether or not there would be sex in Heaven (bear with me…I promise I do have a point with this!)…
I think our present outlook might be like that of a small boy who, on being told that the sexual act was the highest bodily pleasure, should immediately ask whether you ate chocolates at the same time. On receiving the answer “No,” he might regard absence of chocolates as the chief characteristic of sexuality. In vain would you tell him that the reason why lovers in their carnal raptures don’t bother about chocolates is that they have something better to think of. The boy knows chocolate: he does not know the positive thing which excludes it. We are in the same position…
Lewis’ point is that a young boy, who does not know the pleasure and joy of sexual intimacy, can not comprehend how it could be “good” without chocolate (what he does know and enjoy). His frame of reference for what is “good” is a rather skewed because of what his mind can at that moment focus on.
Oh, how often God has been teaching us that over the past few years. Embarrassingly, my three year old’s struggle to comprehend and mine really aren’t that terribly different. For two years, I’ve struggled to accept what God has deemed as “good” for our little family. How difficult it’s been at times to accept that everything that comes from Him is “a good and perfect gift” (James 1:17).
Waiting 8 months to finally see a positive pregnancy stick certainly didn’t feel good.
Finding out that the baby that we so desperately wanted died in my womb and the emotional scars that were left from delivering our 2nd child didn’t feel good.
Spending the next 8 months begging God for another child didn’t feel good.
I’m so thankful for a Father who has gently and patiently crumbled up my definition of “good” and replaced it with a new one…
“…and my people shall be satisfied with MY goodness,” declares the Lord. Jeremiah 31:14
For the past year in particular, this verse has become our prayer. That we would be satisfied in God and not in what He gives. That we would be grateful even when He chooses to withhold our present desires from us. That we could declare His grace written all over our life story. That we would see true beauty in what seemed so ugly. That we could trust that He knows better than we do and promises to give us His best. That He, Himself, would become our very definition of “good”.
He IS God. And God IS good. So very, very, very good.
This journey has led us to the name we picked for the baby boy that is presently squirming around in my belly. Regardless of the outcome of this pregnancy or the length of his precious life.
Tobias Samuel Johnson.
Tobias (meaning “God is good“) Samuel (meaning “God heard“).
The thought of declaring “God is good” every time we say our little Toby’s name thrills my heart.
I need to know that Truth even better than I’ll know my children’s faces and trust it daily…even minute by minute.
I’m slowly learning to see everything that my God brings is, in fact, good. And that the hope of the eternity that He’s promised me will blow my mind, making clinging to and focusing only on this life seem as silly as choosing chocolate.
And just maybe even Isaiah will see that our humble earthly home and his imperfect parents can’t compare with that goodness of our God and that joy that awaits those who trust Him.