Every morning before the start of the Happy Blue School, our family gathers for devotions, bible reading and prayer. It’s one of my favorite parts of the day. Each month one of the boys selects which book of the bible we’ll read; this month we are reading the book of Esther. We are using the kid’s version of Jesus Calling for our devotions. And at the conclusion of this time, we share prayer requests and then everyone prays.
Before we left for the States in December 2012 and since our return in April of this year, our son Jake has focused his attention of prayer upon one thing. Every day, Jake prays for a new house for our family. He has decided it is time for our family to move.
What kind of house is he praying for?
Here are his requests:
A house with an upstairs bedroom for him – Jake likes to be up high.
A house with no cracks in the wall – this house has many cracks in the concrete walls and they’re getting bigger.
A house with an oven that works and doesn’t short-out the house – we are having trouble with our current oven shorting out the entire house when it is on.
A house with a yard and a tree that he can climb – the boys have paced a well-worn trail around our back garden as there just isn’t a lot of play area for them now that they have gotten so big.
A house with a warm pool – who wouldn’t?
A room for the Happy Blue School – our Happy Blue School is in our dining room.
Okay, maybe the last request is more for me, than for Jake. However, our dining room has been completely transformed into a classroom; with kids’ work, book shelves and school supplies covering the walls and floor space.
John and I are not in the process of looking for a new house at the moment. We’ve got too much going on at present. If a move would take place, it would be no earlier than 2014 and then, such a thing would really be a God-thing. Really. We would have to know that such a move is the will of our God.
If my God is not in such a move, then I don’t want it. In all honestly, as I shared after our return from the States in a recent blog post I can covet. I don’t like that about myself. I don’t want to look at something like a house with a room that could work for the Happy Blue School and wish that for my own. I don’t want to have a deep-seated desire for something more; especially in the environment in which I work and live where there is significant poverty and need. I desire what my God wants for our family.
Job, a wealthy and upright man who was stripped of his wealth and his possessions and who also lost his children and his good health, said this:
“If I have put my trust in gold
or said to pure gold, ‘You are my security,’
if I have rejoiced over my great wealth,
the fortune my hands had gained,
if I have regarded the sun in its radiance
or the moon moving in splendor,
so that my heart was secretly enticed
and my hand offered them a kiss of homage,
then these also would be sins to be judged,
for I would have been unfaithful to God on high. Job 31:24-28 NIV
The use of the word ‘trust’ in this case comes from the Hebrew transliterated word, kacal. Kacal means to be foolish and stupid. Basically, if I am stupid and foolish enough to put my trust and take my security from power, prestige, or possessions, I am going to be sorely disappointed. You can call me a stupid and foolish idolater. It’s not always easy. However, I want to follow the example of Job, and seek my God for what my family and I need; not what we may covet. I don’t want to be stupid.
Will I stop Jake from praying for our family to move to a house with an upstairs, bigger yard, no cracks in the wall, and a working oven? No.
I believe it is important for him to keep praying for his desires and to learn and grow as he keeps on praying. Jake is not coveting. He’s just praying for something he wants; like any other kid or actually like any of us. Jake isn’t demanding when he prays. He is just telling his God the present desire of his heart.
The coveting and idolatrous line is crossed if Jake, I, or any of us look for and depend upon our possessions and wealth for our happiness and security.
In the meantime, our family is content with what we have and seek our God for what He ultimately desires for us today, tomorrow and in the future. Jake will pray for a new house today and that will be okay with me. We’ll see how our God answers someday.