I heard my sons clatter down the stairs on their way to school on a cold day in Illinois. Their conversation became evident.
“Have you got your confidence?” Paul asked Tim.
The reply came quickly. “Yes, I have my confidence, do you?”
My usual morning thought processes were interrupted. Well, arrested. I asked, “What are you talking about, confidence? How do you get your confidence?”
Paul, his usual calm tone, I’ll-explain-it-to-you-Mom, waved his stocking cap, “This is my confidence!”
Tim chimed in, “Yeah, Mom, and here is my confidence.” He waved a red and blue stocking cap.
They laughed, placed those two clumps of yarn on their hair, and knew they had confidence. Such an easy way to acquire confidence.
I grinned at these two high school-aged boys, ready to embark on yet another day of preparation for their futures. I shook my head…as they donned their confidence(s) as they left the house.
Soon my thoughts were tuned in to my classroom of children that I would teach. Later, I thought about that blip of conversation when I read the following verse of scripture:
Ephesians 3:12 – In Him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.
Mike Chambers, Paul and Tim’s youth minister, must have taught them that concept. And the others I found in my search.
II Corinthians 3:4 Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God.
Psalm 71:5 – For you have been my hope, O Sovereign LORD, my confidence since my youth.
Proverbs 3:26 – For the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.
Later I thought about the word – confidence. Where does confidence come from? How can we learn and experience new things with a feeling of confidence? Does the confidence come from the unconditional love our Father in Heaven has for his children? Is this why children who are loved unconditionally are willing to see things differently?
I thought about all the decisions my great grandparents made in coming to this country. Did they have confidence? And in whom did they have confidence? In what? Was it the economy, luxury, having their every whim satisfied? Did they have confidence in their decision to leave their homes, families, and leave Russia to come to America? In mid-journey, as they struggled with the living conditions on board the ship, did they question their decisions to leave the familiar for the unfamiliar? Was their confidence shaken?
When I look at the pages of the German Bible that was handed down, search the old family pictures for clues in their eyes, or in the many stories I have heard, I see their confidence in the leading of God in this journey and through life.
I hear Grandpa Suderman sitting at our breakfast table reading God’s Word in German and then in English so his grandchildren could understand. I hear his voice raised in singing, “In the Sweet By and By.” Did he waver when four of his young children died, when he was maimed by a circular saw, or the wheat harvest was not enough to feed his family? No, he gained his confidence in reading God’s promises and singing praises to Jesus, lifting his beautiful tenor voice as a testimony of faith.
I saw the same confidence in my parents and the road that they traveled. And now my dear husband Ed and I are the great grandparents and the grandparents. Are we displaying our confidence in our Lord Jesus Christ? In this uncertain time and place in time, we have confidence and the trust in our Lord for safe keeping. The safe keeping that is not paid for through insurance premiums, stocks or bonds, or the laws of our land but in our allegiance to God.
Thank you, Dan, Paul, Tim and Anna, for teaching us this confidence that is of God, is more precious than fine gold! We love you, children.