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Questions of a Chatty Child
By Diane Exner

  When most people think of the word endurance, the things that come to mind are sweaty sports, tired tears or weary work. Usually the phrase, "to endure something," has a negative connotation. For example, having to endure a two-hour business meeting might not evoke a positive reaction. On the other hand, enduring a two-hour chat with a child might be an anticipated event.

When my youngest stepson, Cody, was about seven, he started asking me serious questions like, "What is God like?" and "Where will we live when we get to heaven?" One question would lead to another, and soon he would be chattering on about what it was going to be like when Jesus comes back to take us all to heaven. I still smile when I reflect on his beautiful, searching heart.

Two of our favorite places to have these lengthy conversations were lying on his bed, or hanging out on the balcony of our apartment. There were certainly many questions at that young age, especially over a two-hour time span. I remember praying often under my breath, "Lord just keep me one step ahead of Cody's questions and help me to give the answers that will keep him coming back for more."

Oh how I loved those times. Nothing was more important. It was a pleasure to take time with him, and I would always look forward to hearing what 'the question of the day' would be.

Cody is twelve now and Dad is the 'cool' parent to talk to and hang out with, so I have taken a back seat for a while. It is heart-warming to watch this father-son relationship develop. I will look forward to the day when I will once again have the opportunity to be the recipient of his trust and questions; that day when he begins to contemplate girls, marriage and his future.

Remembering those conversations always makes me realize how my heavenly Father must feel when I "hang out" with Him and share my intimate concerns and doubts. Knowing my own longings as a stepmom to have those cheery chats again, makes me see how much my Heavenly Father really loves and wants too spend the same quality time with me.

I used to think that I was being a burden by bringing my problems to Him. I also felt guilty for taking up so much of His precious time when He could be busy doing more important things. Now I know that God wants me to keep the lines of communication open on a daily basis.

In fact, I often picture Him smiling when I have become too talkative. Smiling as He endures the "questions of a chatty child".

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