I get up every morning at 5:30 to write this blog. I always think I'm going to get ahead and get a post written the day before, but it never works out that way.
This morning, I woke up to a mess from my dog. Last night, my husband gave our dog the leftovers of our steak from dinner. We've done this before, and he's never gotten sick. But we were out of propane for the grill last night so I cooked the steak on the stove -- in coconut oil. We now know that our dog's stomach does not like coconut oil.
Our dog is really good about not having accidents in the house, but for some reason when his stomach is upset in the middle of the night, he won't bark to go out. It's like he thinks disturbing our sleep is worse than pooping in the house. As much as I hate having to get up in the middle of the night, I hate cleaning dog poop out of the carpet much more. I've explained that to my dog several times, but not being a rational being, he isn't quite grasping the concept. By refusing to inconvenience us by barking in the middle of the night, our dog creates a bigger problem in the morning.
Aren't we just like my dog, though? We refuse to take our problems to God until we can't handle them any more. We make a huge mess instead of letting God deal with the small one. We don't want to inconvenience God or we think our problems are too small for Him, so we try to take care of it on our own. Often, a big mess results.
God cares about us. He wants us to bring Him everything -- from our deepest heart's desires to our teeniest, tiniest issues. He cares that the car won't start. He cares that you're worried about that bump on your daughter's face. He cares that you need $20 you don't have. He even cares that you can't find your car keys.
We want our kids to know that God cares about everything that goes on in their lives. If He didn't, He wouldn't have told us in Philippians 4:6 to "pray about everything." God knows our problems, but He wants us to bring our issues to Him. He wants us to voluntarily turn it over to Him, to acknowledge that He is in control.
When we model this behavior for our kids, they learn that no problem is too small to take to God. They learn that God cares about them even though the decisions they have to make and the issues they're facing may seem small in the grand scheme of things.
Help your kids take everything to God. Set aside time in your day to pray with your kids and to model how to turn things over to God. Keep a prayer journal with your kids so you can keep track of all the times that God takes care of our problems -- in ways we can't even begin to imagine.
If our kids learn to turn their problems over to God, they will learn to avoid making messes that take a lot longer to clean up in the morning.