Since the season of Epiphany is a season of growth and discipleship and work, we have really tried to focus on connecting with our kids in areas of spiritual formation and discipleship.  Now, around our house this may not take the typical form of a “bible study”, but may involve rock climbing, conversations in the car and most likely, Starbucks.

My daughter and I have started having a Tuesday night “Starbucks date” while my husband and son go rock climbing.  I have enjoyed this hour or so of conversation with my 11 year old.  We usually read through Psalm together and then talk about “stuff”, as the Spirit leads.  This last week, I was blown away by her insightfulness and, as I took it to heart, I was schooled by my daughter.

She had picked the psalm for the evening – psalm 100 (probably because it was short!)  As we read through it, her Bible had a reference to John 10 from “we are His people and the sheep of His pasture”.  So we decided to follow the reference.

After we read John 10, I asked her what she thought about it and here is what she said:

“I guess it is a little confusing because Jesus calls Himself the gate and the shepherd….(pause)…but maybe He needs to be both, Mom.  Maybe He is the Shepherd who leads us to the Gate and then He opens the door for us to come in to life with Him.  (Another pause)…and I guess what the sheep need to do is listen really well to hear His voice and then go in the direction He says.”

wanderer

So I asked her how we could know if we are listening to His voice or not.  She responded, “Well…I know that He wants me to obey, but I also think my heart wants to wander off on its own.  It’s kinda like when I even think I’m going to hear His voice and I just want to do my own thing – then I wander off, thinking He can’t find me or else I just ignore Him.”

Now for some this may be “no duh!”, but to hear my 11 year old articulate our propensity to hide from God and then God being the shepherd who finds us and leads us to Himself AND then is the very Door unto Life…I was amazed.  I was struck again by the grace of a God who found me in my inability to find Him (even if I had wanted to find Him) and lead me in my wandering to Himself.  And I was filled with the overwhelming joy that the same Shepherd who has guided me thus far, has found my beautiful child and is allowing her glimpses into His very heart.

O God, thank you for the precious gift of this conversation with my daughter.  I see You pursuing her and teaching her to hear Your voice.  Teach me also, to hear You better and better and to confess as quickly when I begin to wander.

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