“Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.” (Psalm 127:4 NIV)
When my younger daughter, Heather, was fifteen she accompanied me to a speaking engagement. On the way home she complimented me on my message. “It was just what I needed to hear, Dad. I even took notes.” I thought she was just being polite, but it was a chance for conversation. “So, what did you like most about the message?” I asked.
She then delivered my sermon back to me better than I had preached it. And, she wasn’t even using her notes! She remembered the scripture references and application points and even added a few of her own. After picking my jaw up off the floorboard of the car I said, “Wow! You really did listen, didn’t you?”
“Yeah, Dad,” she returned wryly, “I always try to listen to the preacher . . . even if it’s you.” I wish I could say she inherited that sarcasm from her mom. But, we all pretty much know from which parent she got that gene.
She quickly redeemed herself however, “Y’know, Dad, for awhile now I’ve been wanting to grow more in the Lord. Could you maybe disciple me and teach me how to study the Bible?” Again, jawbone on the floorboard.
I paused, not because I was contemplating an answer, but because I was a little choked up. “Sure, Bean, I’d consider it an honor to help you grow in your Christian life. But, to help me formulate a course of study for you, what do you want to learn about most right now?”
Of course, I thought she was going to want to learn what the Bible said about dating and finding Mr. Right and whatnot. Not even close! “I just want to know God better,” she answered. “I want to know how to listen to His voice.” I figured I should just leave my jaw on the floorboard now.
Once a week or so, for about six weeks following that conversation, Heather and I went to a Books-A-Million Bookstore coffee shop after she finished school for the day. I taught her a little on how to study the Bible for personal application. She was and apt pupil with incredible insight. I loved hearing what God was teaching her from His Word between our sessions. I anticipated with great joy every one of those afternoons. Now, I remember them with great joy.
Today is Heather’s birthday [Originally published by Daybreak Devotions on 11/21/2017]. In all the years from when she was fifteen to now, the only thing I’ve ever seen come close to her passion for God is her compassion for people, especially children. She has an incredible ability of making them feel loved and special.
She is special. She was an arrow in my hands for a brief time and then was launched into adulthood. Now, she is an arrow that flies into the hearts of others, especially children. And, into those hearts, she brings with her the light and love of God.
Happy birthday, Bean!
© Paul R Downing