In my humble opinion, if you're not in the teaching profession, or in some capacity involved with children on a daily basis, you're really missing out on life's most precious moments!
We started Christmas concert practice in late November and everybody was, for the most part, working diligently to learn their pieces. One Grade three boy, Jonathan, in particular need extra help with one word. In our German, 'The Four Candles' recitation, he had the line: Gott aber der Hoffnung erfuelle euch mit alle Freude und Frieden im Glauben... Romans 15:13.
Struggling with articulation on a daily basis, anyway, he also could not remember the word 'Freude' (joy) - he always said 'Freunde' (friends), which is understandable since they're so similar. He had no problem saying this particular word in isolation, but never when he said his line - no matter how often we explained the difference in the two words and that while God did give us 'Freunde', in this verse it just wouldn't make sense. He could never get it right. Teachers, parents, siblings, fellow students tried to help him, alas, nothing worked. On the day of our concert, I resigned myself to the fact that he'll never get it and hoped the audience would be able to figure out what he was supposed to say.
On the night of our program, Jonathan was looking sharp, standing on stage with the other students - dressed in his Sunday best, face beaming, with not a care in the world. I was in front of them, should they need prompts, and at the same time telling myself not to worry about Jonathan's mix-up. His was the last line of the piece and everybody else had done their parts well. While I was still wondering if mouthing the word would help, Jonathan eagerly started his verse. All of us who had worked with him, held our breath, hoping... then sighed with relief when he said the word perfectly. His bright smile, said it all - he was happier about this accomplishment than any of us!
Later, when we were reflecting on our Christmas program "Freude' took on a whole new meaning for him and for all of us. He was telling us how happy he was that he was finally able to say his piece flawlessly. When asked how he did it, he confidently replied, "I asked God to whisper it in my ear."
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8