To My Four Favorite Kids in the Whole World:
Each of you are all on the verge of amazingly big things; entering adulthood, the college years, high school, and finally becoming a teenager.
I see you all pressing up against the sides of your world and pushing for a larger version.
Lately, you look so big bumping up against your childhood furniture and standing tall over stacked pencil-marks on the wall. I know you’re bored with what I offer and of the plans I make for you.
And I see that look in your eyes. The searching for more. The glazing over when I talk about what’s here and now. The squinting to see your future. I see it all, and I get it.
But I often want to reach up to your shoulders and shake you back to the past. Your future will be beautiful and thrilling but also cruel and demanding, and I’m picturing you small in it.
To be honest, sometimes I panic.
Because I know what’s ahead. You see, when you start to feel big enough and smart enough, it’s a sign that you need a bigger world. And God will always give you what you need. Even when your mom doesn’t want to.
He’ll lift the sky and deepen the caverns until you don’t feel so substantial. He’ll show you how much you don’t know and humble you with it. He’ll take you to new heights and depths until you see the dangers of both.
That means you’ll be asked to do things that’ll wreck your confidence. You’ll meet difficult and strange people and discover you’re an amateur at love. You’ll learn your need of nothing else but Him, and such learning is only done the hard way.
And you’ll know you’re on the right track if you feel just plain small.
Because that’s the thing about getting a bigger world. You’re not large and in charge anymore.
I wish I could tell you it will be easy. I wish you’d always feel as sure as you do now. But I can’t. You won’t. You’re as ready as you’ll ever be and I guess I am, too.
Because my world’s about to change also. God doesn’t save that whole “lifting the skies” thing just for kids. As you are all growing over my head, He’s pulling my sweet, manageable world just out of my reach. I’ll have to learn new roads and a new way. And I’m scared, too.
But in my own growing-up years, I’ve learned something that will help the both of us…
The bigger my world gets, the better view I have of the God who blew it up.
I made bigger mistakes and learned of a bigger grace.
My adult-sized hurts were met with a love that stretched to match.
I learned the posture of humility that allowed me to hear His voice louder, clearer, and whispering my name.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
You’ll find a place where your smallness will be perfectly countered by the greatness of Him. And there your restlessness will end. Until, that is, you start to feel big enough again…
As much as I don’t want things to change or for you to suffer… I want all of this for you.
So kids, go ahead and make plans. Dream big. Lean into your future with hope. I will too.
Because we all know the God who’ll give us a bigger world and meet us there with an even bigger gospel of grace.
Here’s to bigger and better –
Let’s do this,
PS I love you