Blessed Beyond Measure
It’s spring and as I write this the sun is shining and the neighbourhood kids (12 of them in our small circle of houses from ages 4-12) are all outside. I love the sound of children at play.
Several hours later.
I got distracted, so I took a break from writing and went outside with a rake and began doing a little cleaning up in our front yard. It was just too nice to stay indoors. Suddenly I was besieged by the kids who abandoned their play and came to where I was. I got big hugs from each and lots of talk – all children at once trying to tell me the latest news of their precious lives. What a blessing. “How’s John? Is he any better? I haven’t seen you in so long! Guess what we did the other day at school”. The questions and chatter continued. They seemed in no hurry to get back to playing. We talked quite a while out in the front yard and eventually they drifted away after giving and getting more hugs.
Except for one young boy, age 9. He lives next door, but because of the winter season and me being shut in alone for several months, we have not talked much. He stayed after the others had gone. He picked up the rake and began raking part of the lawn while he talked. I don’t think there was any topic he didn’t touch on over the next 35 minutes, everything from animals, to school, to the bible. I have shared many bible stories with him over time and he is a curious and intelligent young boy. He loves to ask questions – and I love to answer them. I look forward to the rest of the warmer weather season.
Another young boy, about 12, will often stop shooting baskets at the front of his house and come over to say hello and chat a bit.
Children are so very precious and if we stop and listen, we can learn a lot from them. With most there is an openness and honesty when they seek answers to their questions – and there are many of those. They usually have a sense of what is true and what is not and most of the time, if they know someone genuinely cares about them, they are willing to accept what you say as truth. They have a way of accepting the things of God in a very simple way, knowing instinctively it is truth. Jesus used children as an example of that kind of believing. Matthew records this scene: “He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.” Matthew 18:2-5
Jesus wanted the people to know that children were the epitome of unquestioning faith, that we should emulate them, become humble and accept His word as truth. He also pointed out that just because they are children they are no less precious or important in God’s kingdom.
Sadly, in our day of “cancel culture”, children are being indoctrinated with many false teachings and because very young children are literal thinkers and because they are so eager to learn, they absorb the lies that surround them on every side. If a lie is repeated often enough, it eventually begins to sound like truth and the enemy of their souls wins another round. The enemy is more vocal, louder and never gets tired of telling lies: he will use any means possible to perpetuate his falsehoods.
As parents and friends we may not be louder, and we may not be as numerous as those who would spread untruth, but our God is stronger than the lies and it is our duty to speak truth into the hearts and minds of our children and youth. We must never tire of teaching God’s word to children when opportunity comes along. I am in a rather unique position where I live – so many children and they are all ready to absorb whatever I offer. So far I have not had any issues with parents. That may come someday, but that isn’t now, so as long as God gives me voice and opportunity, I will lovingly speak Jesus into their minds and hearts. That may come from the love I give more than from the words I use, but eventually the love will result in words. (And it never hurts to let them see that you can still be a kid at heart!)
If you are not blessed to have children around you, at least pray for the children you see and know. Pray that the humanistic values of the world will not keep them from understanding and accepting God’s love and that they would have a desire to follow after Him.
B. Klassen email@example.com