I sat parked in my car near the lake, watching the water while trying to shut down thoughts about the “problem of the day.” I didn’t want anything or any power to distract me from missing what God had for me in the present moment. And then I saw him. At first there were two and I had been watching them play without REALLY noticing them, without REALLY seeing them. He was just a little squirrel, plump and playful, in the leaves. Squirrels love to find treasures. They will work very hard to reach their treasure only to bury it and forget it. Yet God cares for that forgetful little creature.
How squirrel- like I can be at times? I run in five different directions trying to store up all that I think my children will need... only to bury it. We buy that game, but we bury it because we don’t have time to play it.
We see our child’s talent, but we bury it because we don’t know how to support it. We give our children all the right tools, but they too end up buried. Simply because we don’t know how to teach our kids how to build the Godly character they will need to use those tools, without the support of a community. We work hard to get all the right material items and sign up for all the right activities. Still we aren’t perfect parents and we don’t always feel like we have the time or support needed to do all of the things we think our children need, and we bury it. I thought about how God cared for that little squirrel and Matthew 6 came to me:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
Suddenly I could hear the birds chirping and I felt embraced by God’s promises. Why then do I worry about storing up riches? Why do I squirm around like a squirrel burying treasures for my children that we will soon forget? I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my children’s inheritance in my squirrel-like hands. No much better that they, like their inheritance, are in God’s hands. Of course I want to give my children good gifts, but I don’t need to worry about what they will lack or who they will lean on. I don’t have to worry about them having the best clothes or a trust fund to draw from. The Lord goes with them. He will provide for them. I’m grateful that God sees my squirrel-like hands and looks on them with love. He takes them in His powerful hands and whispers “You can trust me to take care of your children, for I made them and loved them before they were born.”
Through faith in the hands of God, I can give my children the gift of learning to trust Him. Learning To Lean on Him. So, I can loosen my squirrel-like grip on the buried treasures of the top ten summer camp sign ups, posh playdates, and world class vacations.
I can shift my gaze to the One who made my children and thank Him for teaching them His word through their Christian education. I can store up the treasures of hearing my children speak about the Lord’s plan for their life with confidence. I can store up the treasures of hearing my children pray through their problems and love others like Jesus. These treasures are stored in the eternal home of my children’s hearts. And that heavenly treasure won’t be lost among the squirrel treasures here on earth. Every moment of time I invest in pointing my children toward Jesus is stored up, and I am so glad I don’t have to do it on my own. The Lord works through his people in the Christian community and Christian education to help me when my squirrely hands need a helping hand.