It is seldom that I remember dreams as I wake up. The foggy space of realizing you were in a dream, and dawn is in twilight, and working your way back through the dream. Questions filter through the brain. This morning, a loud and sure answer came to my questions, and now, an hour later, those visions are getting stronger, instead of fading into the darkness as dawn is here with full light.
We were at the pool, and Nathan was life guarding. One after another, older men and women would speak with Nate and he would answer their questions. After each exchange the elder would look to me and smile. The scene changed to the beach and to a market, each time the same, an interesting verbal exchange, and then the older person would look to me and smile. Just before I woke up, one of the older men stated, “I bet you are used to this, adding time to your day, as folks talk to your sons. The favor that is upon them is a joy.” I laughed and replied that, ‘Yes, I am used to padding our day with extra time when we are out and about.” And then I woke up.
In that fogginess of sleeping wakefulness, I was reflecting on a conversations Nathan was having yesterday at the pool as he was supervising the lap swim times. Each person there seemed to know him from an event in town. One person in particular took extra time trying to figure out the connection, and neither Nate nor the man figured it out. A conversation was overheard about needing people to stack wood, and the conversation was directed toward Nate to see if he’d be interested in earning a few extra dollars.
I have been amazed at the opportunities Nathan and Jonathan have had in this tiny town. People call Jonathan a ‘swag magnet’ as he seems to often get things thrown at him for free with his surfing. Just yesterday, a relative from out of town, came and quite suddenly bought him a tide watch. Not a need, but a desire and a very helpful tool that he has been wanting for quite some time.
These thoughts flooded through my mind and I distinctly thought, “How are we so lucky that my boys find these older friends and free things so often?”
Sharp as a knife I felt my spirit sliced, the fog cut away and a direct reply was heard, almost audible – “Why are you surprised? You prayed for it, trusted it, and I have been the one to deliver.” Instantly my mind was directed to two scriptures that I prayed over earnestly as they were babies and children, and occasionally through their youth.
Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew taller and grew in favor with the LORD and with the people. 1 Samuel 2:26
Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people. Luke 2:52
It has been a while since I’ve thought on these passages. These mothers, giving their children to the Lord. Giving their children to the people. Knowing that others would have more influence than their own. I knew, as a young mom, that I did not have the skill or resources to raise fine young men. I knew through reading the Bible, that God did, and that he had shaped many young men, despite the pitfalls of their parents and families.
And now, this morning, I felt compelled to share with you. This cutting – this direct result, and clarify a few things that I may have not stated directly.
I love to share the opportunities my sons have had these past years. I love to show you the wonderful events that they participate in. I am thrilled at how we have been provided beyond everything that I could have imagined. I am thankful that we receive scholarships and internships and small jobs at just the right time. I am still stunned at the surfing items that have come to us from surfers, surf shops and sponsors.
But we have not ‘earned’ any of these.
They are a direct result of God’s favor. Not because they are good boys, not because I’m an awesome mom, not because we live a certain way. This morning – directly – I was reminded – that it is a direct answer to a mother’s earnest prayer. It is a direct showing of God’s glorious goodness. Not just the swag, but the suffering and lack of finances we have walked through as well the last few years.
I know that had we had a wealth of finances, the boys would not have needed to reach out to the community. They may not have been as thankful and ready to serve out of their gratitude. They serve because they directly know how it feels to receive, not as some pious Christian charity to those less fortunate. They learn to fix vehicles and fiberglass surf boards and fix plumbing and lawn mowers and serve food and volunteer – because there is a need.
So I ask you. How much are you praying for your sons? Are you seeking opportunities to allow those prayers to develop? Are you giving time in your day to see the fruit grow? Is there time padded into trips to side track into crazy adventures with a stranger?
I’m not sure, even after writing, why I was led to share my personal morning with you. I didn’t want to write, and feel as if I was showing some great thing from my sons. I felt that the Lord has a young mom out there, wishing fervently for good things for her boys, but neglecting to stand on God’s Promises with trust and a hope for a future. I feel that there is a mom like me, thick in the trenches of navigating these teen years, wondering if those promises will stand true to her family.
I leave you with a verse in Philippians 2:13 – One in the amplified, one in the message:
[Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.
12-13 What I’m getting at, friends, is that you should simply keep on doing what you’ve done from the beginning. When I was living among you, you lived in responsive obedience. Now that I’m separated from you, keep it up. Better yet, redouble your efforts. Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God’s energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure.