The Value of My Child

About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?”

Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.

And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me. But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea.”          Matthew 18:1-6 (NLT)

Most often this passage of Scripture is quoted as an example of how we are all to have faith that is fully trusting and totally given – like that of a child. But today I am thinking about the value that Jesus says that God puts on a child.

During this time in history, child sacrifice was still an acceptable form of religious practice. Children (elementary age in our society) were expected to work in the family business or as slaves for others. If they were lucky, they might be ‘employed’ for pennies per week. Few went to school and certainly not for 15+ years as we are accustomed.

So the people listening to Jesus would have been surprised that Jesus brought attention to a child much less clearly told the crowd that the child was to be their example! And Jesus sternly warns them of God’s strong words in Proverbs that the LORD hates – even detests – someone who sheds innocent blood (Proverbs 6:17).

Most of us may find our emotions roll quick and hot, eliciting the need for a physical response when we see or hear of child who has been abused or hurt because of careless disregard. We want to exact some retribution on someone who would dare to hurt a child.

But what about when my child is seriously hurt in an accident? What about when my child is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness? What about when my child must suffer? I think physically ripping out my heart would have been less painful and more humane! Yes, I speak from experience. It is rare for a parent to go through their parental life and not experience some event when they must stand there and watch their child get their forehead stitched up or their leg x-ray’d and then placed in a cast or hundreds of other medical emergencies. Why does God allow this? I believe that God is Almighty and All-Powerful so He ultimately does have the ‘say’ on what does or does not happen.

I don’t know the answer. I wrestled many a day and night with God about why children suffer and even die. Why didn’t God ‘allow’ me to do the suffering? I don’t know. But I do know that God loves my children. I do know that today my son no longer suffers but is in heaven and worshiping with his drums day and night now, never tired, and full of joy!

So when our children go through illness or are hurting in their spirit may we remember how much they are loved by our LORD and how much He desires to show them His way. May we understand that before our children were ‘ours’ – they belonged, and still belong, and always will belong to our LORD, our Savior, our Mighty God. They live in the palm of His Hand.

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