Sometimes we learn the most powerful lessons from the smallest among us. Minnie Moorehouse was an amazing little girl with wisdom well beyond her years…
Her dad had just come home from work and had a package someone had sent for her mom.
“Where is Mother?” he asked after he kissed and hugged his daughter.
“Mother is upstairs,” Minnie responded.
“Well,” he said, “I have a package for her.”
“Oh,” she pleaded, “Let me carry the package to Mother.”
He gazed sadly at his wheelchair bound daughter.
“Why, Minnie dear,” her father replied, “how can you carry the package? You can’t even carry yourself.”
With a smile, Minnie continued, “That’s true, Papa. But you can give me the package, and I will carry the package — and you will carry me!”
And that’s just what they did.
When we read this story to kids we follow up by asking them, “If Minnie had not been paralyzed do you think she would have asked for her dad’s help to take the package to her mom?”
Of course not. Like most children, Minnie would probably have bounded up the stairs on her own power without even a backward glance. It was Minnie’s weakness that made her depend on her dad’s power.
I don’t know about you, but my first reaction when my kids wrestle with a weakness is to figure out how to “fix” it. But when “fixing” it is my top priority I’m afraid I miss the most important thing… and so do they.
Do we want our kids to learn to work hard at overcoming obstacles? Absolutely.
Do we encourage them to persevere even when the odds are stacked against them? You bet.
Do we want them to think they can do it on their own? Only if we want to set them up to ultimately fail.
When our kids weaknesses show up it’s so easy to miss the opportunity to show them how to be swept up in the arms of our All-Powerful God. He doesn’t promise He will use His power to get rid of the weakness, but He does promise to give us strength in the midst of our weaknesses and empower us to do things we could never imagine doing on our own power.
Here’s how this played out in our house one morning…
My sweet daughter was 4 years old and as strong willed as they come! It wasn’t even 10 a.m. and she had already been disciplined 5 times. I was so weary of the battles. She was weary too, but not as much. I sat on her bed as she cried, crushed that I would be so cruel as too condemn her to another time-out. Between sobs she gasped,
“I try to do the right thing but I just can’t. Something takes over. I just can’t do it.”
There were two dynamics going on. The tear-stained princess before me thought it was extremely unfair that I would hold her responsible for something she couldn’t help doing. She also truly believed she could not be obedient, thus there was no hope for the rest of the day.
I rubbed her back and laid out her options.
“Sweet girl, today can be a good day or a bad day. If you keep making bad choices it’s going to be a bad day. If you make good choices it can be a good day.”
“But I can’t!” she wailed.
“No, you can’t. Not by yourself. Jesus promised that He would send the Holy Spirit to help us make good choices and say ‘no’ to the bad ones. He won’t force His help on you, but if you ask for it He will help you be strong and make the right choices.”
Defiant hazel eyes looked into mine.
“No.” she declared. “I can do it myself.”
“Okay.” I sighed. “You try.”
Fifteen minutes later she appeared in the kitchen. Beaming with joy she declared,
“I did it!”
“What did you do, honey?”
“I asked Jesus to help me and He is!”
It wasn’t the last time she had to learn the lesson, but it was a powerful first step! The rest of the day did go much better.
Happy and empowered daughter.
He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. –Isaiah 40:29
Each time He said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. –I Corinthians 12:9,10 NLT
Copyright ©2021 Kathy Bright