Some people brought even their babies to Jesus so he could touch them. When the followers saw this, they told them to stop. But Jesus called for the children, saying,”Let the little children come to me. Don’t stop them, because the kingdom of God belongs to people who are like these children. I tell you the truth, you must accept the kingdom of God as if you were a child, or you will never enter it.” Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Luke 18: 15-17 (NCV)
I am wrestling a bit with God today and it’s another round in a familiar place. A friend contacted me to pray for a toddler who had somehow found his way into a backyard pool and was found there, facedown in the water. We have prayed fervently for the last 24 hours for God to reconsider and work a miracle in this child’s life.
I have never doubted the love that God has for children and young people. Proverbs tell us that God hates even detests hands that shed innocent blood (Proverbs 6:16-19). All three of the synoptic gospels speak this passage I noted in Luke about how all of us are to embrace our faith with simple, child belief. Matthew relates heart-piercing words that we parents are clueless on how to give â€œgood giftsâ€ to our children compared to the way that Father God gives to us His children (Matthew 7:9-11). So what am I to think when God allows a child to wander into harm’s way?
It’s a consequence. I pray for the parents and grandparents in the coming weeks and months. Whether real or imagined, there will be the accusations that â€œsomeone should have watching the child closerâ€. What parent has not gotten distracted cooking dinner or putting laundry into the machine or talking on the phone and had their child draw on the walls with markers/crayons or got into make-up or even played in the toilet? I’ve told the story here about standing in the front yard of my home talking to a neighbor and had my child run into the street. In minutes, fragile life can change. And if that is the justification for terrible accidents, what do we do with Jesus telling the disciples that a man born blind was not to blame nor his parents (John 9)?
A lesson to learn. As part of a philosophical or theological discussion I can be persuaded that terrible accidents can happen in order for a lesson to be learned. I can believe that King David’s own son was killed by God as a consequence of David’s actions and that David learned a valuable lesson that elevated him to a new level of Godly greatness (2 Samuel 12:15-23). But reality makes it hard to accept that God would teach me such a lesson and so drastically shorten my child’s earthly life to do so.
The child is in a better place. Without a doubt, I believe that heaven is a much better place than here on earth. That is little comfort to me when I am separated from my child for 40, 50, 70 years.
And so for now, God and I will continue to â€œdiscussâ€ and â€œwrestleâ€ about times when He acts in ways that are so very troubling, Spending time with Him, for whatever reason, always has better consequences. I am praying for these parents and grandparents as they struggle to move on this path. I pray that they will hear the truth of God through His Holy Spirit as I know He is the only One who can answer their questions and comfort their hearts. That is the key â€“ not to turn away from God when I have questions or feel anger or despair. He is my Creator. There is no one above Him and no one else has His wisdom and His perfect truth.
I will also continue to plant seeds in my grandchildren that they know and see what it is to have an intimate relationship with Jesus. That they know how esteemed they are by Jesus â€“ just because. His love for them individually is extravagant and personal. He is their Light in any darkness that may come in their life.
Bless the Beasts and the Children sung by Karen Carpenter