“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105)
“And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.” (Luke 2:52)
He was once a boy called Yeshua, prone to being overtired, the tummy bug, and perhaps a sweet tooth just like our own children. Recently, I’ve found myself wondering about his bedtime. Would his mom sit on the edge of his bed combing back the hair from his forehead with her fingers? Did she tell stories from her own childhood or remind him of the time he was found with the honey sticky from head to toe? All imagination, but how easy to overlook that the Son of God took on the form of a baby, who grew into a boy, and stretched into manhood touching every developmental age and stage while his mother nurtured him.
Recently, my family and I perched on a mountain top overlooking the bright Shenandoah Valley and the far reaching horizon where the Alleghany Mountains hide what’s beyond. Next to me sat our son and two daughters. It was one of those exceptional moments where my peace was punctuated by an awareness that their time with me is ultimately so short. The miles of gorgeous landscape below unfurled as a vivid reminder that we must help our kids see beyond themselves. Adults, we are called to illumine the shadows with the vision God has spoken over the next generation through His Word. We must teach our kids that in Jesus Christ they are chosen, blessed, anointed, equipped and marked with Kingdom purpose for His glory in that valley. As a result, their choices matter, their words matter, their lives matter in ways that far exceed what we can imagine.
Maybe that’s why I’ve been pondering young Jesus’ bedtime. His momma’s soft touch tucking loose strands of hair behind his ear, a candle highlighting the warmth in his sleepy eyes, a big yawn escaping from the boy Yeshua… Maybe she praised him for being patient with his sisters and encouraged him to be more responsible with picking up his toys. But most likely she told him how His Heavenly Father saw him – “Yeshua, the angel said to me, ‘He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.’” (Luke 1:32) Imagine the boy curling closer to his mother’s lap as she rubbed his back recalling Zechariah’s words from years previous. “Yeshua, you will ‘give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.’” (Luke 1:79)
We have such a short time on the mountain top with our children. The mundane routine we have with them is our greatest opportunity to be our Heavenly Father’s echo. If you have the privilege of nurturing a child, be diligent in holding out the lamp of God’s Word as they move into the valley of life. Maybe that’s what Jesus’ mother did? She allowed holy words to shed light on her child’s path and cast vision for His life.
Heavenly Father, thank you so much for how You nurture me. Please help me share Your love with those entrusted to me. Your Word is a lamp to my feet. Help me to light their path with it as well that they may grow in wisdom and favor with You and others. In Jesus Christ’s mighty name I pray, amen.