I was out walking this morning when the sun came up. It was a gorgeous sunrise, all red and pink. I got to enjoy it the whole time I was walking down one street, but when I turned the corner toward my house, I could no longer see the beauty because the houses were in the way. They blocked my view.
It's so easy to miss seeing God and his awesome wonders because we let the everyday things in life block our view. If we aren't looking for God in the small things (and the big ones) then we can't help our children see Him, either. When was the last time you were so amazed by something that you couldn't help but stop and thank God for it? When was the last time you were struck speechless by the beauty of God's creation? If you can't name a specific time, it's been too long, and it's time to again start seeking God in the moments of your life.
Despite the houses blocking my view this morning, I could still see glimpses of the sunrise. Even when we aren't looking for God, He provides glimpses of Himself in our lives. Too often we chalk those things up to coincidence or good luck or we just don't think about them at all. Nothing is a coincidence if you are a Christ follower. God is always at work in our lives. We just have to recognize His work for what it is.
Teach your children how to find God at work in their lives, and show them how easy it is for us to get caught up in the everyday and miss seeing God's work.
- Either use a photograph or have your children draw a picture of something beautiful that God made. On other small pieces of paper, help your children write down things that can distract us from noticing God's creation -- they can be physical things like houses or things that make us busy, like school, activities and friends. Cover the picture with the smaller pieces of paper and talk with your children about how sometimes even good things like school and friends can distract us and have us overlook God's work in our lives. Take a minute to thank God for all of His creation and the things He is doing in your family's life.
- Ask your child to write a story or draw a picture, depending on their age. While they are working turn on the radio, the TV, talk to them, just generally make all sorts of noise. Make an effort to distract them. If they complain about it or after they are done, ask them how hard it was to focus on what they were doing. Explain that sometimes it's hard for us to focus on God because there are so many distractions that we sometimes miss what God is trying to tell us or we miss seeing the awesome things that He does. Talk about the types of distractions that your children face.
- Create altars in your children's lives. In the Old Testament, the Israelites would build an altar whenever God did something amazing. Genesis 12:8 says "From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord." Create altars in your children's lives by pointing out when God is doing something great in their lives. You can mark the moment with a conversation, a note in a journal or even a physical momento. Being able to look back on what God has done in their lives will help them through the tough times because they will be able to see that God has been faithful.
As a parent, be sure to be looking for the moments that God does something in your life. Don't hesitate to share some of those moments with your kids. And don't let distractions in your life block your view of the sunrise moments that God provides.