I love to imagine and dream with them.
I especially love to teach them.
How fun is it when little ones discover things for the first time?! There is a wonder for everything, especially nature.
And the faith of a child... WOW it is great! They are trusting. They simply believe in God and what He can do!!!
Way, way, way (out of this world) greater is the faith of a little one vs. an "adult/educated" mind who reasons everything and can't accept miracles.
I am a nanny for two children. Two boys. The little one (for internet safety since this is a public blog we'll call---Little J)... anyways Little J loves watching a particular movie: the Veggie Tales version of Jonah.
About 3 weeks before I was to head to Haiti last year, I went to Tuscon with the family, and on that trip- he would keep asking me "Why didn't Jonah want to go to Nineveh?"
|Back of Little J's head at the zoo looking at a real crocodile|
I had thought the answer was merely because Jonah was afraid to go. Then when I came back and (a God-story in itself) got into Moody Bible Institute. One of my professor's had the class study Jonah in-depth, VERY in-depth for 8 weeks. (That was no coincidence.) Of course the answer to Little J's question doesn't require much in-depth studying to see... but I was still amazed to discover how there was much more to what I originally thought.
Jonah was afraid that God would be merciful to the people of Nineveh, if they repented. In the true story, the people of Nineveh do repent and God was merciful to them by saving them from punishment.
As many of you may know, Jonah sulked and was oh so VERY angry that God would be merciful to the people of Nineveh. What he was afraid would happen in the first place did! God showed great mercy to them. (After all Jonah thought they should be punished!.... That they deserved it!)
Jonah had JUST been saved by God for his own disobedience when he got angry about this! We can all be sad about the way he acted, but have you looked at yourself lately? When I was studying it, God showed me somethings. Ouch.
Do you want mercy withheld from anyone? Are you struggling to forgive someone?
Forgive them today! (And ask God to forgive you for holding that against them too... no matter what it is!) Right now--- truly don't delay. It's a simple choice that we make into a difficult thing, but it is a choice, don't be deceived. We drink our own poison and expect the other person to die, but we end up just hurting ourselves by not forgiving.
God used a then 2 year old to remind me once again...
Luke 6:35-36: "But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful."
I am so undeserving of His mercy, but from the mercy He has given me... I've learned how to be merciful to others who don't deserve it either.
Mercy is showing compassion or forgiveness towards someone whom you have the power to harm or punish.
It's not because you pity them.
Nor is it because they deserve it.
It's a choice. It's a free gift. Just like He gives beautiful, free, undeserving mercy to us, daily.
Jonah is a short book in the Bible, so I encourage you to read it if you never have before! Even if you have read it before, God says so much within those few pages... He could show you something that speaks to you today.. you never know ;)