Letter from Earnest – September 2018
SEPTEMBER 2018 -LETTER FROM EARNEST
“In Mark 10:13-16 People were bringing little children to Jesus, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth; anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.
A child has both a simple and a simplistic view of the world. “Simple” means without complexity. “Simplistic” means unrealistic. Some children are forced to grow up too quickly. Because of the absence of mature adults or the presence of immature adults in their lives, they must jettison childhood simplicity much too soon. When this happens it may make them more streetwise and heart-hardened, but it does not make them healthy or more mature. There is a healthy order in human development. Children in ideal circumstances do not lie down at night and worry about whether they will eat tomorrow or whether mom and dad will stay together. They lie down to sleep in a world that is warm, safe, and sure. As they grow up, they learn mom and dad are not able to protect them from everything and that the world is not safe. But because of the foundations that were built by mature adults in their childhood, they can live in a world that is not safe without living in fear.
A simplistic view is: “The world is safe, so I do not have to fear.” A mature view is: “The world is not safe, but I do not have to live in fear.” We are to approach the King and the Kingdom with the simplicity of a child. We do not throw away the perspective of an adult that understands the nature of the world, but, rather, we add to an adult perspective the perspective of childhood. We live as “grown children” by understanding the world is not safe, but knowing we do not have to fear. God, unlike a human parent, is all-knowing and all-powerful and cannot fail or die. We do not live as fools unaware of the realities of life and we do not live in fear because we aware of the reality of God our Father and his promises. Your Father will never leave you nor forsake you. Now, as you approach your Father in heaven in prayer about the many things that concern you, do so as a child. Leave your fear with Him and then you can go out into a dangerous world and live by faith and not in fear.”
This is a message that I read during my quiet time from a study called Closing the Gap by Pastor Terry Williams. Isn’t it amazing how quickly we want to leave childhood, and in doing so how we cheat ourselves of the carefree, innocent, and jubilate life we are entitled to? Obviously, some children don’t have a choice. In fact, most of the children we serve are making adult decisions at 9, 10 or 11 years of age when they shouldn’t have to, largely because their parents failed to protect, nurture, and educate them. Frequently some of them say to me, “I don’t believe in God, He has never done anything for me.” Just the power of a father’s prayer or a mother’s loving arms can make it so much easier for children to receive a Word from God. However, many are not even listening because they don’t believe He exists.
Please pray for the considerable number of young people who are disillusioned because we as parents have failed to grow up in the ways that matter. Please pray for us, and when you can, please give.