Lately, I find myself noticing them, analyzing them. I’ll estimate their age or school grade level and begin to consider the following questions:
~What are their favorite activities?
~What excites or motivates them?
~Are they from a large family?
~What do they know about God and His abounding love for them?
Jesus’ words in Matthew 19:14, “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven,” is such a warm invitation, filled with gentleness and promise. How adequate am I, reflecting that Christ-like tenderness and thoughtfulness for the spiritual needs of the little children?
After months of job-searching, God has opened up a door that enables me to be thrust front-and-center into the world of the “little children.” Just this past week alone, I instructed close to 300 students, ranging from ages five to fifteen. Three fourths of those students were due to my position as an elementary Art teacher–fun!
I enjoyed a whirlwind schedule for two full days, circulating six classes per diem. The faces were a blur, but the most innocently-posed question caused me to stop dead in my tracks…. and focus on one particular little girl.
I’ll never forget her carefully worded inquiry: “Who made you? Do you believe it was God?” I could tell it was a topic that had been troubling her. Oh, how I wish I had the opportunity to take her to the Word of God and share the truths of how “fearfully and wonderfully made” she is! I was caught off-guard, occupied with the task of being the substitute teacher in a public school classroom nonetheless! No time or attention could be given to her request–except for a hurried response, “Of course I do!” I was so limited in what I could say or do at that exact moment. Before I could discuss the topic any further with her (in private), the class was over and she was gone.
It was obvious that this child was searching. I have thought quite often about her since that day. I wonder, will she find the answers to her questions? Who will reach her with the Good News? Does she attend a church that is proclaiming that Jesus is God’s Son, who died for sinners and provided a way for us to live in heaven for all eternity?
In Matthew 18:1, Jesus disciples questioned Jesus, asking Him, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? ” His followers were so concerned about status, reward and recognition, not ever considering the most basic of all attributes–humility. Little children naturally possess it. That sweet little girl in Art class symbolized the character of trust, and an open heart. A soul precious to God and valuable beyond measure. I hope I will see her again…soon; so I can tell her that.
I think 2015 is going to be a year of surrendering my will and embracing God’s. And striving to reach the little children–one at a time!