Brothers and Sisters,
My devotion for today is going to be much more personal than I normally care to be, at least in the way I will be here. I say that because I cringe at ministering publicly in a way that becomes self-referential. That said, I’m compelled to share what follows because it was a beautiful example of God speaking through his Word. It thrilled the heart of my daughter, and it thrilled my heart as well.
Before I can relate what happened, let me give you the background:
You won’t be surprised to know that my kids – along with all the other students in the San Lorenzo Valley – are currently unable to attend school due to COVID-19. Instead, school has become a “work from home online” effort (Note: I’m grateful for the way our longsuffering teachers and administrators are laboring to make things work in a situation they didn’t ask for). Recently, as part of her 9th grade biology class, my oldest daughter viewed a short video dealing with the theory of evolution. Yesterday morning she undertook to write a paragraph describing her critical response to some of the claims and assertions made in the video; one she intended to then post on her class’ virtual board in response. She wrote the paragraph, walked away from her computer for a moment (without posting it first), and then came back to her computer only to find her work erased. In the aftermath, she reached out to me via text message. What follows is our conversation (lightly edited for clarity’s sake), with some of my own editorial comments in italics:
Daughter: “I had about a paragraph written in response to the video, but I came back to finish and it is all gone. Should I take that as a prompt from the Lord to let it be for now?
Me: “I think you can do whatever you want here. If it seems like the Lord’s prompt, then sure…let it be. You’re under no requirement to write. If you have something burning in your gut that needs to be said, then rewrite it. Either way is okay.”
Daughter: “I don’t want to take everything like [this] that happens as the Lord prompting me to something, because it may not always be that way. But I also don’t want to push the issue if it doesn’t look like I should at the moment.”
Me: “Have you prayed and asked him the question?”
Daughter: “Not yet. Doing that.”
Me: “Do so, then glance back over your Psalm for this morning [Note: I did not know what Psalm that might be] and see if it helps bring some clarity. If not, then I’d say let it be and press on with your day…trusting that God will give you another opportunity to express [yourself] when needed.”
[I praise God for moments like this when he graciously gives me what I need to respond well to one of my kids. It’s all a gift…all of grace.]
Daughter: “Thanks Dad. I anticipate that possibly being the case as biology is my next class.”
Me: “Love you…praying for you.”
Daughter: “Psalm 19…I’m writing it over again.” [Note: You need to hear in this line a delighted, wry, ironic smile on my daughter’s face. Trust me, it was there].
[No way! Look at the answer God gave her! She went to Psalm 19 because it is the 19th day of the month. Do you know how Psalm 19 begins? Here it is: “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” This is the answer God gave to a 14-year old woman as she prayed about whether or not she should rewrite her paragraph related to evolution and post it on the class page.]
Me: “Ha ha! That’s classic good! I think the Lord answered you pretty clearly there. Praise God…”
Daughter: “I just laughed when I read the first verse! And I laughed again as I continued.”
Me: “I think God delights when we laugh at moments like this one…”
Daughter: “Me too.”
My purpose in walking you through that exchange is not to point to my daughter or myself, God forbid! My point is to shine the light on our majestic God who is present and who speaks so clearly through his Word! This is a COVID-19 moment that he used to make much of himself in a way that delighted this father and his daughter. Who is a God like that?
“Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love. He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. You will show faithfulness to Jacob and steadfast love to Abraham, as you have sworn to our fathers from the days of old.” – Micah 7:18-20