Let the Children Come
When we read the story in Mark 10 about the disciples trying to keep the children back from Jesus, His words, “Let the children come” remind us how much Christ values kiddos. I love the story- it fills me with comfort and joy. . . and conviction. Because, while I like to imagine these kids lovingly and QUIETLY cuddling up to Jesus and listening attentively to His words, the reality is that kids have ENERGY and ENTHUSIASM and have a hard time containing them. They have short attention spans and need lessons to be interactive. God, their Creator, knows and cherishes those very qualities. And He teaches me because of them.
From July 5th-10th, I was at St. Andrews Anglican Church in Versailles, KY to help with a Creative Arts Camp for kids who had just finished Kindergarten-5th grade. Now, please remember, my passions, strengths, and desires are very strongly rooted in helping teens discover fullness in Christ. So, when all these precious kids came into the church on Monday morning, I was pretty overwhelmed.
Each day, I brought theatre experiences and challenges to about twenty Kindergarten-1st grade students by themselves and then two much smaller groups of kids from 2nd grade – 5th grade. After workshopping with these kids in the morning and early afternoon, I went back to my host family and dove into my M.Ed. homework each day. I felt physically drained, but spiritually, even supernaturally, equipped to get everything done. By Friday evening, we had prepared a 5 minute skit I wrote to show parents what we had learned about different Bible characters in our morning Bible time and how we had applied those truths to creating characters and acting in Theatre workshop. Thankfully, God brought us through the whole week and brought SO MANY kids to either a saving relationship or a commitment to go deeper and give Him control of their lives. What a joy to be a witness to His saving grace and wooing Spirit. It makes all the tiredness, frustration, and (at times) troubled heart worth it!!
Along with seeing God move in the kids’ hearts and lives, I am also convicted by how powerfully they believe God. In one of our Bible times, we had to choose how we would respond in certain scenarios. As a certain scenario developed, it became even more challenging to be obedient. The leader prompted, “What if God told you to do something really hard and scary? How would you feel? Would you trust or be scared?” A few kids came over to my “Scared” sign to choose that option. Realistically, I belonged there, too, and not just because that was my assigned sign. A 5th grade girl over in the “Trust” section called out to us, “Why would you be scared?! God is with you!!” To trust made perfect sense to her- Hearing her words, it made perfect sense to me, too. OFTEN, I will examine all the components of a situation, but instead of better understanding it, those components become temptations for me to doubt God’s sovereignty, love, faithfulness, compassion, goodness, strength, and power. I look at my doubts and wonder how God will work it out, rather than looking to God in eager anticipation.
As I come away from a weekend visiting my grandpa in the hospital, looking to an outpatient surgery and possibly long recovery for my mom, seeing Kimberly miss another chemo treatment because of her low hemoglobin, and on top of that, keeping up with my own studies and praying for SCCLC as teachers start their new school year in preparation and worship, I am tempted to fear, or at the very least, let my heart dwell on how hard it can all seem. But I am reminded of Isaiah 41:13:
How does God remind you not to fear?
How does God use children to teach your own soul about following Him?
How can I pray for you this week, especially in trusting the Lord?