the most important thing you'll hear this school year

My sister's girls slept over on Friday night and I had the great privilege of tucking them in and saying prayers. We prayed Now I Lay Me, Our Father and Dear Jesus. And then I asked the girls if they had any questions about God or things they wondered about. I am, after all, one of their Sponsors, present at their Baptism, and take this responsibility very seriously.

The room was dark, they were snuggled into their sleeping bags and I felt like a camp counselor. Sonna wanted to know what happens to us when we die, so we talked about Heaven and how this world isn't our actual home. Our home is still waiting for us where we will be face to face with Jesus and there will be no more pain, sorrow, death or sadness. 

I told the girls about the story I read with my kids this morning from the Jesus Storybook Bible. We read about how Satan came into the garden and told Adam and Eve to eat the fruit from the tree. And that when they ate that fruit God's very heart broke because he knew that by eating the fruit men and women would forever begin to think they didn't need Him. That they could outwit his wisdom, out-think his logic. Men and women would come to believe the whole story of God and Jesus is just a made-up, feel-good tale. 

I told them this: the most important thing for you to remember is that this is still Satan's goal in this world.  He wants us to eat that fruit and believe we don't really need God afterall.

But then we talked about the moments Satan cannot take from us. The moments when God is so near we just know in our bones that He is exactly who He says He is. Like when you're out in the dark country and see a canopy of bright stars above you. Or when you hike to the top of a mountain and see a view that takes your breath away. Or when you witness the steadfast faith of a grandparent or someone you love and respect helps fuel our own faith. Or when you hear a song that stirs your soul. Or when you watch a little life grow inside of a mama...the most amazing miracle for me. Or when you feel pure joy and happiness. Those are all times when you know God is Real. 

But Satan wants us to think the whole story is a lie. And will work hard to confuse us of our identity. We have to always remember that we are Children of God. My prayer is that they never forget that.

We talked about reading our Bibles and how that is the one place where we can hear God's voice clear as day. God wants to speak into our lives, and the Bible is where we can hear him the best.

The room was dark and quiet and I felt so honored to be sharing these big ideas and this good news with them. And for God to be reminding me of his good news even while I was telling of His great love to my nieces.

Then we wondered why Adam and Eve ate the fruit.

And I told them the truth: I would have eaten the fruit. And they would have too. I told them about how I sometimes say things I wish I could take back. How I lose my patience with my kids. How I get frustrated and think mean thoughts. They said they do these things too. I told them its even written in the bible that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Eve was just the first.

And that's why God sent his son Jesus.

Because of our sin we have been separated from God. So God sent his son Jesus to sacrifice his life on the cross to make things right with God. Through Jesus, we are forgiven just as if we had never sinned. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through Him.

And that reminded them of a Vacation Bible School song they know, so we ended our conversation with singing.  I went upstairs and lay in my bed. I thought a lot about how good it was to walk through my own beliefs, explaining them to a child. It's hard work. But I felt fire in my bones as we talked. I knew in the moment there could be no more important way to spend my time. I loved hearing their thoughts and stories that came up as we talked. And I love knowing that they are starting the school year having heard the most important thing they'll ever learn: That God is real. That Satan would like for them to forget this truth. That all have sinned. That Jesus is the only way to the Father. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. 


Amanda B. said...

This was beautiful--a wonderful explanation. I would love for you to come talk to my confirmation kids on this topic. Thank you for sharing this conversation with all of us!

Marlene said...

So well said for a small child to understand! "God loves you"!

Kandi said...

So powerful and thought provoking. Whispering God's truth to young open hearts…. what a way to spend the day.