This last week I sent Teacher Christmas presents to school with all my kids. My Kindergartener has two teachers, an English teacher in the morning and a Spanish teacher in the afternoon (it’s a bilingual school). In each gift bag, I packed a cute mug, hot chocolate mix, chocolate covered coffee beans, and a plate of home-made Christmas cookies. My little one was so excited! She’s 5 years old, so of course she wanted to carry her own presents to her teachers. But she’s also short, so for the entire walk from the car to the classroom I was coaching Lulu in my most patient parental voice. “Pick up your bags, don’t drag them. Don’t clink your bags on the ground or you’ll break the cups. Do you want me to carry those for you? Be careful. Lift them higher honey.” Every 2 seconds it was a new instruction.
Now, I’ve mentioned before that this child is an insurance claim waiting to happen. She is a natural disaster on two feet. I have FEMA’s emergency number on speed dial. She’s not malicious or naughty (usually) but she is high-spirited and has inherited her mother’s gracelessness. So I knew it was a risk to let her carry her presents herself. Sure enough, my fears proved to be foresight.
The minute she saw her little friend Anika she went running to hug her with a gift bag in each hand. The arms swung around her little buddy and the bags smashed together behind Anika’s back! It was all I could do to surpress the disappointed tone in my voice. I then had to explain to her teachers that she just got too excited and forgot to be careful. Sorry, here’s your broken coffee cups. A little Super Glue should do the trick. I felt so bad, but there was nothing more I could do as a parent to prevent her from breaking the cups aside from carrying them myself. If she was going to carry them, it was a certainty that she was going to break them.
So last night I had a moment with God when he spoke to me like I was speaking to Lucy on that day. He said to me in a Fatherly tone, “Give me your heart to hold for you. Give me your heart before you break it.” I set my heart on things that are unrealistic, dreams that will never become reality. I invest my heart in ideas or plans or day dreams or wishes and then I am disappointed when my ideas fall flat. Father God asked me to give him my heart for safe keeping. If I were to hold on to it, I would certainly break it. I have high expectations. I am constantly getting my hopes up and then they come crashing down to the ground like Lulu’s Christmas cups. I get all excited and smash my heart to bits. God says, “Child, let me hold that for you before you break it.”
Now the question is, will I trust him? Do I really believe that he knows better than I do what is good for me and what is wrong for me? Am I going to surrender my heart, my dreams and expectations to him? Am I going to trust my Father with my heart?
Here’s a promise I can trust when I am looking for how to guard my heart. “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7