Solomon knew a secret. A secret about children. A secret worn, not on the surface of truth, but a treasure buried deep within childhood itself. Solomons discernment, his depth of insight, still speaks to hidden truths today. Truths that in our business, in our myopic focus on living sunrise to well beyond sunset, weve too easily forgotten. Maybe weve failed to glean them altogether. But the truth yet speaks.
Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD (Psalm 127:3)
A heritage, Solomon goes on to explain, bearing a special reward from a sovereign, gift-giving God.
Id known the unique reward of children. I was unaware Id forgotten rewards buried blessing. Until yesterday.
Children keep our finger on Heavens pulse. Ive missed that, now that my own children are adults.
My grandsons first birthday yesterday allowed me, for a moment, to revisit that world of blessing. A world, I realize now, played such a huge role in keeping my feet on the path of trusting-thankfulness my soul connected to Heavens heartbeat.
Ive lost that connection these past few years, and my feet have known stumbling steps foreign to them during my quiver-fulls four childhoods.
I re-tasted it last night, just as my grandson experienced his first bite. It arrived in a dirt cake.
My son and his wife made several childrearing decisions before the birth of their daughter and have held strongly to those decisions. If anything, the arrival of their son twelve months later simply solidified them.
One such resolve came into play during my grandsons first birthday yesterday. No sugar. The exception? Their birthday cake. For our family, that makes the anticipation of each childs first taste of cake, especially frosting, extra special.
My grandsons long awaited first taste of sugary delight arrived in a dirt-cake filled black bucket harboring hidden tangy gummy worms. The perfect finish to a one-year-olds Fishing Party.
Though Isaiah had never seen dirt cake before, he had no trouble knowing just what to do with it. Attack it, with two hands. Tentatively, at first. But after the taste of that initial bite, Isaiah quickly began cramming fistful after fistful into his open mouth.
In an instant his ear-to-ear smile was covered over with chocolate dirt. The painting of the rest of his face quickly followed, until soon, little more than the whites of Isaiahs eyes remained untainted.
He laughed. We laughed. Then, just as abruptly as the smile grew, it faded. Once pleasurable dirt suddenly became uncomfortable, and without warning, in mid giggle, he wanted clean.
He wasnt full. He simply didnt like being dirty. Within minutes, the happily-eating-dirt-cake boy was plopped in the kitchen sink where squeals of joy-filled laughter accompanied the cleansing.
Heavens pulse began to beat, then throb.
Later that evening, as I reflected on the days events, the throbbing reward pierced my heart.
Little has changed since Eden. Eves tree remains planted before our eyes. We still look, still long after the promise of sweetness we perceive its fruit bears. Eagerly we reach for it, taste it, even thrill to the tantalizing flavor when first it touches our lips. But, somewhere along the line, we come to realize the tasty juice smeared ear to ear changed into filthy, slimy dirt. And what was joyful turns to discomfort. What seemed pleasurable becomes distasteful. And we want cleaned just like my grandson.
Were no different from Isaiah sitting in the sink. The cleansing must come from another. Were that little one-year-old baby, incapable of removing the dirt; looking upward to the grace of Anothers washing to strip away the stain and make us clean.
The moment pulses with reminders. Reminders of longing. Reminders of so many tastings. Reminders of the discomfort of our condition, when the expected sweetness turns uncomfortably sticky. And reminders of a Fathers love, which never diminishes, and the washing Heavens heart paid so painfully much to provide.
Heavens pulse continues to beat through the hidden rewards of our inheritance.
DeAnna Brooks (December 5, 2007)
Having raised four children, I live now in Texas. Mostly my writing is a sojourn with God. I find myself ever planted in Eden, glorying in its abundant and rich communion with the Almighty. Or, I am looking back, with longing. And the sojourn continues.
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