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  • Writer's pictureKelsey Scism

Lessons From a Toddler on Learning to Trust God's Power

Most of my adult life has been spent either as a teacher or training to be a teacher, but now a new school year has begun, and I find myself outside the classroom. However, I think God has provided me with a new kind of classroom—one in which I’ve become the student and my almost-3-year-old is now my teacher.

To say that our kindergartner struggled the first two days of school is a bit of an understatement. Both years of preschool, we dealt with separation anxiety. After several weeks (or months) and many strategies, we finally conquered preschool drop-off both years.

As we prepped Camden for the first day of all-day kindergarten, we created a special handshake, visited the classroom and teacher, practiced drop-off at home, and prayed for courage. Even with all of our preparation, I was skeptical. Apparently, with good reason.

The first two mornings included not just a few tears, but bawling and wailing (maybe even a little kicking).

After the second morning, my strength faded.

As I left the school listening to my little boy crying behind me, my own tears fell . . . though my cries didn’t echo down the hallway like his.

Kemper (my toddler) and I sat in the van as I tried to compose myself before heading to the grocery store. The short conversation between a teary mom in the driver’s seat and a sweet toddler in his car seat behind her went like this:

Kemper: Mommy, why you sad?

Me: Because Camden's having a tough day at school, and I can't fix it.

Kemper: Mommy, I have power. I fix it.

Well, then, little boy, put that power to use and go help your brother, I thought.

The whole situation had left me feeling quite powerless.

But as I sat there smiling to myself through my tears, which proves he might indeed have a superpower, I realized we all have power in tough times.

God’s power lives within each of us, and He can fix it.

The entire weekend before school, we had been telling Camden that God would help him and we prayed for courage, but when things didn’t go the way I wanted, I needed a reminder that God’s power is greater than any struggle we face.

As I looked for verses about God’s power, 1 Corinthians 2:5 showed up in my search. “. . . so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.”

I had been relying on human wisdom to get Camden (and me) through those first days of school. Human wisdom led us to practice and create a handshake and talk about the first day, but only God in His power and His timing can produce a tear-free (or reduced-tear) drop-off. (Morning three, by the way, was a reduced-tear morning.)

How many other times in my life have I relied on human wisdom or rationalizing to guide my decisions and actions?

When really, I need to be relying on God’s power in my life.

We question why things are happening the way they are, why things don’t seem to work out for us but seem to go perfectly for everyone else, or why our plans always seem to fall through.

Sometimes in life, things just don’t make sense—at least not human sense. It is during these times that we need to be reminded (even by a toddler) that we are not to rely on human wisdom but on God’s power.

What is happening in your life right now that is making you feel powerless? Does it seem that no amount of human wisdom can rationalize why things are the way they are? Do you feel like things just don’t make sense?

When we face these challenging times, we must have faith that God’s power is ultimate and at work in every situation.

It is because we don’t understand that we must have faith.

Maybe He’s bringing us to a situation where human wisdom doesn’t make sense so that we can see the greatness of His power.


Thank you for your amazing power even when we don’t understand it. Help us rely on your power and not our own human wisdom when we face difficult situations. Show us how to let our faith rest on your power.

In Jesus’ Name,


Originally published August 2015


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