I was reading this morning in John about when Jesus called a few of the disciples that had been listening to John the Baptist to follow Him. One of these young men was named Andrew. I was drawn to him because my son is named Andrew. It hit me that my Andrew and the disciple had a lot in common… they are both very social and a natural networkers.
My son was called a “communicator” by his sweet teacher. As a former teacher I can translate… that means he talks a lot. It’s true. We recently moved into a new neighborhood. When we moved we thought there was only one boy on our street. Somehow, without leaving the confines of our yard, my child has brought children from the far corners of the earth to our home. Any given day we will have between 7-10 kids in our yard. We love it because he brought us a whole mission field that we didn’t know existed.
Jesus called Andrew to follow Him and he came and saw where Jesus was staying, listened to His preaching, and then immediately went and got his friends to bring them to Jesus. In John 1:40-42 says, “the first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus.”
My Andrew has yelled out to the yard full of kids sitting eating popsicles “Who here believes in Jesus?” (we are working on his delivery). God has created him this way. He networks and shares his passions with others… whether it be about the Aggies, hunting, or Jesus.
As I was laughing that morning that Drew is like his namesake. I realized that often times the thing that we work on to reign in with our children is the very thing God uses for His kingdom. Andrew’s mom may have been exasperated by the boys he brought over all the time or been frustrated as she tried to get through the marketplace with him as he stopped to talk to everyone.
God used this trait in Andrew to draw Peter (whom he chose as the Rock to build His church on) and others to Himself. Andrew was also the disciple that found the boy with the fish and loaves that God multiplied to feed the crowd. He was passionate about people and Jesus.
As I looked at the disciples that Jesus chose to spread His Gospel and be martyred for Him I realized that they are like the children we all know. The disciples were most likely between 18-20 years old. They were not young boys but were still not grown men. They were normal humans like us. Andrew would have been the boy at school that is constantly in trouble for talking. He is the one that goes to school for recess.
Peter is the impulsive one. He is the kid you discuss self-control with everyday. The one that has big reactions and then feels bad.
Thomas is the kid that always wants to know “why”. He will question you and keep you on your toes to explain what you are telling him.
James and John… they had the helicopter mom asking for her boys to sit at Jesus’ right hand. These boys had a competitive spirit. John at first bragged about getting to Jesus’ empty tomb first but then allowed Peter to enter first.
Philip was ever practical. He may be like the kid that has a hard time letting loose or thinking outside the box. Philip was in charge of supplies. He was responsible and predictable.
The Lord uses these normal young men to do great things. He even used the character traits that as mom or teachers can drive us crazy. My husband and I have told our son to eat and that it was time to stop talking at dinner repeatedly. We have had to train him that he can’t ask if the stranger at the store can come over for dinner. The traits in our children that want to make us face palm can be used for His glory. As parents we have to train and disciple them in how to use these traits in a productive way. How they can be who God created them to be but honor Him with their personality. We still have to put in the time training them how to use their gifts and personalities to His glory. But, we can laugh to ourselves and pray that God will use this child to do big things for the kingdom in the unique way they were created.
My point is… Parents/ Teachers when you want to put your head in your hands and you feel frustration that your kid is not getting it… just remember that the disciples all had flaws, were human, and God used them in mighty ways. He may choose to use the thing that drives us the most crazy to bring others to Himself.