August 8, 2018
I cannot imagine life without children. In addition to our own children and grandchildren, much of my ministry life has focused on children. I have said to Carol that when I no longer serve as Senior Pastor, I might see if I could return to being a children’s ministry pastor. She wisely reminds me that I no longer have the energy or patience for that.
The childhood years are filled with wonder. Children live close to the ground, so they see plants, bugs and other things easily overlooked by taller people. And they find each one fascinating. A child can watch a bug crawl longer than they can sit and listen to what we think is important. They notice things that have become routine to adults.
Children are naturally trusting. If they have not yet experienced the heartache of broken trust, they are ready to take us at our word. Only over time will they learn that humans sometimes break promises. They will have to learn to forgive, while developing a balance between trust and realism.
A child does not require long explanations of complex issues. They are content with “Creator God made the world and loves you” until they learn to question the existence of God and wonder how they can be sure He loves them when they do bad things. They sing, “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so” and that seems to satisfy them. Not all humans – even some who have followed Jesus for a long time – have that confidence on a daily basis.
It is not surprising that Jesus said the faith that pleases Him is the faith of a child. When we scale down all of our questions and beliefs to the basics, we quickly accept the fact that without childlike faith, we will never trust Him or have joy in our walk with Him.
In our busy lives, it is important to take time to be with children – to listen to them and learn from them. We all benefit from the experience. And it is possible that when those children are older, they might just want to listen to what we have to share with them about the more difficult challenges they will face.
Pastor Bill Ehmann