It was past bedtime, but our evening had been full of activity and hanging out with family. So bedtime wasn’t going as I had hoped.
My hope was to get home, take baths, flush and brush, and go to bed. Our kiddos had too much energy remaining. I don’t know how, but they did.
Their plan was to run around, mostly naked, make all kinds of noise and get upset with one another. And then a profound realization came to Max, our oldest: he had left his bike at his cousin’s house. Now he was really upset.
What is a tired parent to do in this situation? Make a deal, of course. (I say that tongue-in-cheek.)
But we came to an agreement: we’ll go get the bike, but only after a bath and after he brushes his teeth.
Ok, that settled him down, but our youngest Will overheard our conversation and now he wanted to go too! The look in his eyes made me know he was very committed to joining us. Ok, Will can come too, why not.
Secretly, I was thinking and praying they would fall asleep during the truck ride.
We go get the bike, but my prayer wasn’t being answered. The boys’ energy levels were not becoming sluggish and sleepy. How can I help them calm down?
Then the brilliant idea of listening to hymns came to mind. Yes! I had recently been listening to a great hymns album. So I said, “Boys, no more talking, you need to calm down! We are going to listen to some music…” I proceeded to play the Hymns (Live) album by Shane & Shane.
The first hymn on the album is actually a newer one that Andrew Peterson wrote but has been picked up by Shane & Shane and other worship artists. It is so good. The title is Is He Worthy?
As the song played the boys quieted. I thought, “It’s working; they’ll be asleep in no time.” But then I would have never anticipated what happened next.
The next song came on which was Tis So Sweet.
The song opens up with Shane & Shane just belting out the name of Jesus over and over.
Then to my surprise, I hear little Will join them at the top of his lungs in the back of the truck. He began singing and shouting Jesus’s name in a remarkably loud yet also slightly slurred baby voice. Max, at this point, is filled with delight, begins laughing almost uncontrollably, and joins him.
I hope you can picture the scene. The boys are in the back just giggling, singing and shouting Jesus’s name back and forth to one another.
A breakthrough happened for me: rather than scold, which I wanted to do for a split second, I smiled. God was answering a different prayer.
We pray fairly often that our kiddos will love and delight in Jesus. God has used this episode several times since to encourage my heart to be eager to respond to and lift up the name of Jesus in my own life.
We’ve recently studied through the first part of John 4 with the middle school and high school students and Jesus says in John 4:24,
"God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
I was reminded of the joyful Jesus shouting match my sons had. We can worship anywhere, and our worship is true when Jesus is lifted up and made much of.
Grace and peace,