When I dropped my little guy off at school this week, there were quite a few empty cubbies. About a third of his class was out sick or still gone for Thanksgiving vacation, and the four or five kids that were gone just happened to be all of his little friends. I think he still had a fun day, he still came home and told me stories, the kind that are full of more excitement than details, the kind that let me see the four-year-old boy in him meshing with the man he’ll become. That night at bed time though, he told me that he didn’t have anyone to play with at school.
My mother’s heart had been pierced.
I knew that it was only because most of his friends were gone. I knew that he wasn’t generally lonely that he didn’t generally play alone on the playground but the thought of my little boy spending even one day sitting lonely on the swing set broke my heart. I think I was sadder than he was but I went to bed that night praying that his little buddies would be at school the next day. That someone would want to play with him.
We always pray on our way to school and the next morning was no different. That morning, Judah asked Jesus for his friends to be there that day and I silently prayed the same.
We pulled into the parking lot and my heart did a happy dance when I saw his best buddy climbing out of his car. We walked inside with him and his mom like we did every other day and I could have hugged them for being there. The icing on the cake came when we got inside though.
As us moms pulled snow boots and mittens out of backpacks, handed over snacks and water bottles, Judah’s friend turned to him and said these magical words.
“I want to play with you, Judah!”
I choked back tears. Not because it was rare or unusual. This little boy and Judah play together every school day. I wanted to cry because this sweet four-year-old just verbalized the exact answer to my prayers from the night before.
As I hugged Judah goodbye that day, I got to whisper this to him, “Jesus answered our prayers buddy! Your friends are here today!”
Judah on his first day of school
This was a small thing. Kids take sick days. Judah usually has plenty of kids to play with and perhaps I was being dramatic, but maybe not. Maybe the Lord let Judah have a lonely day so that his faith could be built. We got to see the childlike prayers get answered.
I could have seen this as a small thing, but instead I chose to look at the beauty in it. In that small little moment, the one where two little boys talked about Play-Doh and Iron Man, God left his calling card.
I left Judah’s preschool that day feeling so encouraged. Our God is in the big moments and the small. He hears our prayers and answers them.
So here’s what I have to say about this. First, pray the little prayers and the big prayers. Let God love on you even in the small moments and look for Him there. Secondly, pray those prayers with your kids. Let the things in their hearts enter into their prayers. Teach them to cast their cares on the Lord and then teach them to acknowledge the answers.
It’s in these moments that our faith can be built. Make room for the little answers to pay large dividends in your heart and in the hearts of your kids.
Keep praying friends! The answers are coming.
“Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.” Psalm 55:22 NIV