God Knows My Heart

High school tennis is at its end and the championships are coming up this week. This is a big deal for our family because that means we have to make arrangements for a hotel room and make sure our home and animals are taken care of, not to mention the business. It’s an even bigger deal for our son because he is following in the footsteps of a very strong champion and it has been said that he was “riding on his coattails”. All this time, I’ve been doing my best to making it all be about showing God how much we love Him and thank Him for these wonderful gifts.
That’s a hard task when all around you people are making more of the person than the One who enabled the person. Every day I have to sit and focus on how God has pulled me through some very difficult times and I try to remind my son of the exact same thing. He has been challenged physically ever since birth but God has given him healing and grace each time and he must remember that every time his head starts to swell because people are praising him instead of God.
So, it was the night before the semi-finals of the regional tennis tournament and my son was scheduled to play that morning. The day before, he played well in my opinion but he stated that he was playing “bad” and was getting a really poor attitude. I reminded him that he needs to be grateful first and foremost because he very well could be in a wheelchair, have stunted growth or worse. He knows this but it’s hard to remember it in the heat of the moment. I was sleeping when I woke up sneezing and sniffling. Strange because I didn’t feel like I was getting a cold and I’ve never had allergies. I figured, however, that because of the season with the pollen flying everywhere and my being outside all day in the wind, the pollen must have gotten to me a little. I got up and took a benadryl to see if it would at least help me sleep. When I closed my eyes, all that kept going through my mind was tennis and how was my son going to play? Immediately I realized what I was doing and I asked God to forgive me. First, constantly thinking about something I have no control over will do me no good. Second, I need to spend my energy thinking about how Jesus gave His life for me and how magnificently awesome His love is for me because that helps me stay focused on the real eternal prize and not just the temporary one.
Finally, I went to sleep and woke up the next morning with my stomach housing many butterflies. Really? You’d think Jesus Himself was getting ready to knock on my door, but no, it was just a simple tennis tournament. I went to my Bible and turned to James. “You ask and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” That hit home. Am I really that nervous for my boy to go out and be successful because then people will look at me with respect? The thought sickened me but I knew that it was exactly the cause of the butterflies. I don’t want my son to be successful because it will make me look better. I want any success that we have to always point back to God who allows for it to happen.
I have found that it’s much harder to give God the credit for success than it is to give it to Him for any failure. God allows it all to happen for the greater good, that is to show Him to everyone around, not just one person. What’s the coolest thing, though, is that even though it’s meant for all to see, even when only one person recognizes Him and glorifies Him, He sees it as successful. My son has realized that every time he goes through a trial in tennis, he ends up being much better. That’s the greater good, because every trial we go through will make us stronger and then we are able to point it all back to Him while everyone around is looking. Just because we are able, doesn’t mean that we will. That’s where my dilemma was because my actions speak for my heart. God knows my heart even when I may not. If we are going to achieve any kind of success according to the world’s standards, we must have it engraved in our hearts to automatically point it all back to God. The way we do that is to learn to point it back to God during our trials and failures realizing that He is enabling us to grow and become better. Getting us ready for that success so our hearts aren’t deceived into focusing on the world.
God knows my heart so well that He continues to drill this message into it because He knows what I’m going through. He knows my desire to serve Him and He’s teaching me how to do it.
I ended up not going to my son’s second match because I needed to go with my daughter for her competition with her horse. She got to go through a trial of her own and here we go again…..Thank You God for giving me the opportunity to help my children grow in the lessons You allow them to experience. Thank You God for knowing my heart.

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