My job watching 3 young children frequently involves many frustrations and aggravating situations. A lot of the time I am guilty of focusing on those not-so-good moments when I am describing how my day or week has been. This really frustrates me after the fact, because I usually consider myself a really optimistic person. I always like the good news before the bad. The cup is usually half full rather than half empty. You get the idea. Well, since coming to the realization that I spend way too much time focusing on the negative aspects of my job, I've decided to try to see the many blessings I experience each day.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to have a little Bible discussion with the two youngest children that I watch. Eden (6-years-old) asked me who the first person on earth was. I don't really remember what prompted this question, but I think she kind of just asked it out of the blue. After pausing for a moment to think how I should approach answering the question, I told her that Adam was the first person on the earth. She was a little confused about who Adam was, but once I brought Eve into the conversation, she understood. We talked about how God created Adam from the dust of the ground and later created Eve from Adam's rib. She didn't understand how Adam could live after he was created from the dust of the ground. I had to smile at the innocence and simplicity of children's thinking. Sometimes I forget that what is obvious to me might not be so obvious to small child.
She continued asking questions after that (as most 6-year-olds tend to do) and we talked about Cain and Abel. When I mentioned that Cain killed Abel, Abbi quickly became interested in the conversation. "Why did he kill his brother?" was her simple question. I explained to them about jealousy and had them act out a little skit of siblings being jealous with one another to help them understand the situation. The conversation continued for several more minutes. We talked about God telling Abraham to offer Isaac as a sacrifice, but then providing a sacrifice in his place.
It was at that point that I knew the Lord was working in the situation. After a really rough day earlier in the week, I really questioned if this is where God wants me right now. How could I be serving Him in a situation where He is not respected or acknowledged? How is this helping me grow in my relationship with Christ? How is this job preparing me for my future when I disagree with so much that goes on? These were a few of the questions passing through my mind as I cried out in discouragement. In the midst of my discouragement, I felt that peace which passes all understanding. I couldn't really answer all the questions, but somehow I knew it was right. Two days later, that conversation helped me understand. God put me in this situation to learn about Him, to depend on Him, and to grow closer to Him. I am in this situation to be a representative of Him to those kids who only hear His name proclaimed once or twice a year.
That few minutes of discussion really meant a lot to me. I don't know if any of it will stick in their minds or really mean anything to them, but it will definitely be ingrained in my memory for quite a while. I pray that it will stand out in my memory as a reminder to show His love and patience at all times.