Draw Near While You Wait
By Lindsay Musselman
Beautiful, delicate snowflakes can be captivating to watch, as they first melt on the pavement and then slowly accumulate. We snuggle up with a warm beverage and enjoy the rare opportunity to be stuck at home. But by the time March comes around, we have seen enough snow, slipped on enough ice, and wiped our nose with plenty of tissues. We are ready for spring.
It can be easy to bemoan the winter weather and simply bide our time until it is warm enough to open the windows and enjoy outdoor activities. I have been challenged recently to not waste the days until whatever is better comes along, specifically as it relates to the lingering winter, for we are directed in Ephesians 5:16 to make the best use of the time.
In the cold, darkness, and sickness of winter months, motherhood is a greater struggle for me. I am tired of my children’s cabin fever as I struggle with it myself. I am tired of looking at the same walls and listening to the same noises from the singing toys. Yet I am challenged to make the best use of the time while we are cooped up in the house. I am reminded of my God-given responsibilities to raise up my children in the “discipline and instruction of the Lord.” I am reminded from Deuteronomy 6:7-8, “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
There are many good remedies to cabin fever and today I submit to you the role Christian books and music can play in remedying cabin fever in our souls. In the previously mentioned verse from Deuteronomy, we are encouraged to teach the Scriptures to our children at any time and at all times. My children’s Bibles and Christian books have been an integral aid to me in doing this, providing an activity that is sweet as we snuggle together, but more importantly, an activity that moves our minds toward Christ and enriches my personal walk with Christ. Authors tell stories from different perspectives than each other and certainly from me, so reading from different children’s Bibles and different storybooks provides a fuller and richer view of the Scriptures. As a weak, fallible human, I know I am prone to forgetting stories in the Bible or remembering them incorrectly, so reading fills in the gaps that I would have missed. And, let’s be honest, sometimes I am tired and cannot muster the energy to teach the Scriptures without aide.
The internet provides many opportunities to us, including the opportunity to find books and Bibles we may not have been able to find otherwise. My husband and I have discovered books and Bibles from a variety of resources and find that the variety keeps all of us interested. We try to add to our book collection one at a time on the occasions when we give gifts to our children. We are also thankful for the church library from which we can borrow trusted story books and Bibles!
Ephesians 5:19 encourages us to be filled with the Spirit, “addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart.” Songs have the ability to lift our souls and draw our hearts to Christ. Putting words to a tune makes it much easier to remember words and provides a fun way to memorize information and Scripture. We have found some children’s music that sets Scripture to music and other that describes the history and purpose of the Bible through singing. I love to hear my children sing the songs and dance to the music. Listening to praise music and children’s songs on the radio and music streaming services are another way we spice up the playlist and they provide me with much-needed mental breaks.
I have not always been a book-worm, I have only recently learned to enjoy the interest and adventure discovered in books. And like everyone else, our family loves playing with dolls and trucks, taking outings, and creating with crafts. While not every activity is a Christian activity, every activity can involve Christ. I love the opportunity we have with children, especially in these young years, to mold our children to love Christ and think about Him often. I love my children’s reactions and questions to the stories of the Bible. And I love how teaching my children draws me closer to Christ. I am regularly learning and being convicted of sin because of the children’s Bibles and Christian books we read. As we wait for spring to come in fullness, be encouraged that I too long for sunshine and warmth and let us encourage each other to draw our own hearts and minds to Christ as well as those of our children.
Lindsay lives in Morton with her husband of nearly 6 years, their 4 year old daughter, and 1 year old son. She has been at Bethany for 12 years. In her free time, she enjoys listening to podcasts, taking walks, and attempting to grow a vegetable garden.