No, I’m not dispensing advice today, but asking for a little. I’m hoping to lean on some of the wisdom of you who have been doing this longer than me. Here is my situation.

Titus is four and a half years old and he’s really into construction machinery. He loves his backhoes, rollers, mixers and tractors. A few months ago, he took several of his excavators to the park to play and accidentally left his toy grader at the park. He mentioned it when he got home, but I don’t think Sara or I really understood what he was saying. Several days passed before we realized that his grader really was missing. He would bring it up every now and again and with all the excitement of Christmas, I think we expected to have heard the last of the grader.

Then about a week ago, we started talking to Titus about how God wants to help us and when we need help, we simply need to ask him. Almost immediately, Titus responds with, “Will he help me find my grader?” Ever since, Titus prays for his grader every day, asking God to help him bring his grader home. Now Titus loves his toys like any other four year old, but I don’t sense this is about a materialistic frenzy of a boy who just wants more and more toys. I truly think he’s just still sad about the loss of a toy he really loved.

Sara and I have encouraged him to continue to ask God to bring him his grader, but we’re in a bit of a debacle on what to do next. First of all, we know that nothing is too big for God and if he wants to bring this actual grader back into his life, he can do it. I know that God doesn’t need my help in the matter and that it would be wrong of us to go buy the identical grader and give it to Titus and say, “Look, God answered your prayers.” However, Sara and I have been talking about getting him a new grader and simply explaining that God answers prayers in many different ways, sometimes using other people to provide the answer or a form of answer. Titus loses toys from time to time and rarely do we feel a need to replace them… what four year old needs more toys? But as a mom and dad, we recognize how much it would please Titus to have another grader.

So, what do you think? How would you navigate this situation? Probably not a matter of right or wrong here, but more of a “how do you help shape faith” question. Thanks for your comments on this one.