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Prepare Your Heart to Be Warmed: My Daughter's Wish

I love age 5. My daughter is a butterfly-chaser, wild-flower-bouquet-giver, Mommy's-high-heel-wearer. I wish I could push a pause button on age 5.

You know what else I love about age 5? She tells me EVERYTHING that she's thinking. Like her Daddy says, sometimes we think our ears might start to bleed from so much listening, but really, we love it.

Case in point, one crisp fall day in November during story time, she began to give commentary of her thoughts at every turn of the page. The story was about Jesus loving little children, and in one illustration, He was bent down on one knee handing a butterfly to a little tot-sized girl with pigtails. Her commentary went something like this:
"Look how sweet. Jesus is giving her a butterfly. I bet He knew that she likes butterflies, because He knows everything, and that's why He gave it to her. And it's yellow. Maybe she likes yellow. [pause][sigh of longing] I wish I could have a butterfly. I always chase them, but I've never caught one. Maybe God will give me a butterfly one day."

I said, "Maybe. You never know." But to myself, I was thinking, "Don't ask God for a butterfly. Don't hope for that because when you DON'T get a butterfly, how will that disappointment affect your tender-heart?" I DID however say, "You know, it's Fall now. The weather is getting colder. The leaves are falling off the trees, and the animals are making their homes for winter. There haven't been any butterflies outside for a while. We see butterflies in Spring and Summer."
She said, slightly disappointed, "Yeah, I know. [pause, then mood picking up] And the mosquitoes are gone too!" We both smiled about that.

She did not say a prayer asking for a butterfly, and I breathed a sigh of relief.

We spent the next two days inside, wearing longsleeves and fleece. The sun warmed up the afternoon, and I let the girls outside to play while the baby napped and I tidied up. We have a large sliding glass door that let's to the backyard, and I leave the screen open so I can hear and see them while they play.

I heard the girls come to the screen, "Mommy, come look at this!" They said with calm excitement. It was such a curious tone in their voices, I came right away. When I turned around I saw this:

She said, "Look, Mommy, God gave me a butterfly."
"YES HE DID!" I whisper-shouted, as to not scare off the butterfly.
She said, "I chased this one for a minute, and then it just landed on my arm. I have always wanted a butterfly."
I said, "I know! And God knew that, and He gave you one." I teared up, both from the joy she was experiencing, and from the shame I felt for not believing before that God would give her a butterfly. Of course, I knew that God COULD do it. He spoke the world into being so of course, He could make a butterfly come out of nowhere in November and stop fluttering, but I didn't think He WOULD do it. I've seen God provide for me in amazing ways; I've seen Him rescue me from situations in ways only HE could, but I wasn't conscious of my thoughts, "God has bigger and better things to do than to bring butterflies, so He won't." My faith is small.

I ran to get my camera. I didn't need to run. This butterfly sat on her arm for 5 minutes.


She smiled endearingly at her gift, and I thought about the wonder of "child-like faith" (Mark 10:15, Luke 18:17), and this verse about the mustard seed:
"For truly I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there', and it will move,and nothing will be impossible for you."

Now, God is not a genie, like some might interpret this verse. It's not like the episode of King of Queens where Doug prays for his sports team to win. You can't say to God, "If you're real/if you love me, give me ______." In fact, we know that the Bible says, "Do not put the Lord your God to the test" and that Jesus resisted such when Satan tempted Him to do so. BUT, God's Word also says, "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." This is what my daughter did. And God did NOT think it a waste of time to shower her heart with this gift of love. It was I, not she, who momentarily forgot: "The Lord is close to all who call on him, yes to all who call on him sincerely." "The Lord is kind and merciful, slow to get angry, full of unfailing love." Psalm 145 Her child-like faith was fully confident of God's love for her, and her genuine delight in knowing God and having a relationship with Him through Jesus allowed God to give her a desire of her heart...which at this precious age of 5 is a yellow butterfly.

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