By Stephanie Parker
God spoke to my 6 year old today! I took our son, Maverick, to a Birthday party this afternoon. It was a party for his best buddy from school. Maverick has a harder time making friends sometimes and we started at a new school this year. I prayed God would provide him with a friend and was thrilled when he found one. But, today, during the party, his friend was busy playing with his other friends and didn’t really pay attention to Maverick. It’s totally understandable. So many things to do, so many kids to play with, and so little time!
Toward the end of the party, Maverick ran up to his buddy to give him his present that he had painstakingly picked out earlier that day. I watched as the boy didn’t so much as acknowledge Maverick and ran off in the other direction without even taking the gift that Maverick was extending to him. His mom pulled him back to open the present but as soon as he did, he was off again, leaving Maverick behind. On the way home, the car was quiet, and I caught a glance of him in my rear-view mirror to discover big alligator tears streaming down his little cheeks. I asked him what was wrong and he said, “He didn’t even play with me. It was like I was invisible.” This mommy’s heart was officially broken.
I proceeded to share with him that I once felt invisible too. As a teen, I would eat my lunch in the bathroom because no one would sit with me in the cafeteria. I told him how, even though I felt invisible to everyone else, God saw me. He knew me. I told him how God would remind me during that time that there was more to life than that moment and He had a purpose for me even if I couldn’t see it yet. I saw a smile of understanding and comfort replace my little boy’s tears. God graciously allowed me to see the purpose from the pain I lived all those years ago come full circle. I was able to thank God for that time in my life because God had used it to help put my son’s little heart back together. But God wasn't done yet...
Later, we did a family devotional and the verse for today was, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses” (Hebrews 4:15). We talked about how Jesus’ disciples all betrayed Him and denied His existence before being crucified on the cross. We talked about the heartbreak Jesus must have felt to see all His closest friends abandon Him. I could see the light return to Maverick’s eyes and he felt like Jesus was saying to him, “I see you, and I understand.” I got to witness God speaking directly to my son’s hurt in that moment. It was beautiful.
Then, it hit me, how often must I make Jesus feel invisible? How often have I gone to have my time with the Lord, but instead got sucked into something on my phone, or on my to do list? How many times have I chased after things other than Jesus, just like that little boy did to Maverick at his Birthday party? For some reason, seeing the tears stream down my son’s face made these questions all too real. I was left humbled and heartbroken at how I must sometimes break Jesus’ heart when I chose to spend my time on the things of this world instead of spending my time with Him. I pictured my son standing there waiting for his friend to just glance his direction and I was moved to tears as I pictured Jesus doing the same with me.
We get a glimpse of this in the Bible when Jesus was overlooking Jerusalem. He wept over the city knowing that His people and His temple missed out on the peace and the blessing that could have been theirs had they only listened to Him… had they only looked his direction (Luke 19:41-42). Then, in Matthew 23:37, Jesus says, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.”
I can feel Jesus’ heart breaking for this generation in a way I have never felt it before. Haven’t we all treated God as if He is invisible at times? Just like that little boy was distracted by all the commotion and fun of the party, we too, get distracted by the things of this world and leave Jesus longing for us to look His way, to see Him. Oh, that our affections and our attention would be turned to Him! That is my prayer for me and for our nation today. What could we be missing out on if we don’t?
Lord, give us new heart and put a new spirit within us; remove our hearts of stone and give us a heart of flesh. Put your Spirit within us and cause us to walk in your statutes and to carefully observe your ordinances. Then we will live in the land that you gave our forefathers; we will be your people, and You will be our God (Ezekiel 36:26-28).
Stephanie Parker has three main loves: God, her husband, Brett and her kids! When Stephanie created the Zipadee-Zip in an effort to solve her daughter, Charlotte's, sleep issues, she never imagined that it would become a business. She is incredibly grateful to God for how Sleepingbaby.com has grown and how it has enabled other families to get the restful sleep they need. Stephanie's husband, Brett Parker assumed the role of CEO which has allowed Stephanie to focus on what she loves which is the creative side of the company, like product and print development. After the Zipadee-Zip was featured on Shark Tank, Stephanie went on to create the book Shepherd's Treasure. In her free time, Stephanie loves to spend time with her family and friends. Her hobbies include acting, singing, painting, learning and speaking foreign languages and going on adventures with her family! You will find her all summer waterskiing, fishing and laughing with her family on the weekends.