It was bedtime, and we couldn't find my 9-year-old's favorite stuffed animal. Apparently, he'd been missing for several nights, but this was the first I'd heard of it. She was insisting she couldn't go to sleep without it.
I looked in all the usual places, but we didn't find it. Finally, I looked at her and promised to find it tomorrow, but right now we had to go to sleep. I suggested she pray that we find her stuffed animal.
My daughter has been asking a lot of questions about God, trying to wrap her head around who God is and how Jesus did all the amazing things He did. She's struggling to understand why some people chalk things up to coincidence and some people believe that there are no coincidences. I had prayed just a few hours earlier that God would show her He is real in a tangible way that she could understand.
So, we prayed that God would help us find her stuffed animal. I tucked her in and went downstairs. Not five minutes later, I hear this little voice yelling "Mom, I found it, but I can't reach it."
I went back to her room and found her stuffed animal tucked under the corner of her bed in a place I had already looked. We were able to talk about how God answers our prayers, even the little stuff. I am sure that at the exact moment that my daughter prayed for her stuffed animal, God was also hearing requests where people were asking for safety, healing or wisdom, and I know He answered all of those, but I am constantly in awe that God doesn't just care about the big stuff, He cares about the little stuff, too.
My daughter could have gone to sleep without her stuffed animal, but God knew this wasn't just about a stuffed animal. This was about a little girl struggling to understand Him, truly seeking to believe better. So, God showed up and helped her look in just the right place to find her stuffed animal.
Because the faith of a child is important to Him.
Sometimes we try to get our kids focused on the big things about God -- He's all-knowing, awesome and powerful -- when what our kids need to know is that God cares about them. He cares about all the little things that make up their daily lives. He cares about lost stuffed animals, frustrating days and broken bicycles.
Our kids need to see the big picture about God. They need to understand His character, but the mostly just need to know He cares, He's real and He loves them. Teaching them the big stuff is good, but we need to be ready to point out when God shows up in the little stuff. Because for our kids, it's often the little stuff that matters most.