INTEGRITY: God shows up at the spelling bee!

A few years ago, a popular T-shirt theme emerged everywhere:




Having turned its back on so much of its foundations, our culture had begun to make cool statements instead of true statements. I wondered as I read the slogans, “Do they really know what LIFE IS?”

Knowing the depth of God’s love as LIFE, I wanted to say to all the T-shirt wearers I would see, “You don’t really know what life is!”

What is LIFE?

Deuteronomy 30:20 says

loving the Lord your God
obeying His voice
holding fast to Him–
this is your LIFE.

As we come and go, sit down and rise up, eat and sleep, we want the message of LIFE to come through to our children.

I have found that bringing life to my children comes out of my relationship with Father. Taking time to be with Him opens the door of my heart. This helps me communicate with Him throughout the day. When this ongoing communication is taking place, I am able to give to my children out of my LIFE supply. I am able to give them LIFE.

For example, I have come to know Jesus as my Refuge. Many times I have needed to know Him as my place of protection, my place of safety. I have called on Him in troubled times and found Him to be present, to be faithful, and to be able to take me through my various dilemmas. Then I saw God reveal Himself to Anna as her refuge.

Several years ago when Anna was still in junior high, she won the school spelling bee, qualifying her to participate on the county level. It was a competition she did not want to participate in. She had been there the year before and had some anxieties about being there again. I consoled her with this fact: God is your Refuge. Even though this is not the situation of your choice, He ordered it and He will be with you in it. In fact, I used Psalm 46:1 to encourage her: The Lord is my Refuge, a very present help in trouble.

The morning of the Spelling Bee, I could not go with her, so her English teacher accompanied her. There were about 100 contestants at the county level, plus parents and others who had come to watch. The emcee began to call the words for each student in turn. Very soon, Anna’s turn came. It was at that very moment that God revealed Himself to Anna. The emcee called her to the microphone and said, “Your word is . . . REFUGE!”

God personally and significantly spoke to Anna in that moment. It was an eternal moment. It was LIFE. Anna did not come home with the trophy, but she did come home with this: God is my refuge.

Life comes from the Father. As parents, we draw life from Him. As we do, our children notice. As Jesus reveals himself to them, like he did for Anna, they are inclined to choose life for themselves.

Hold fast to Him;

This is your LIFE.