I teach four-year-olds at a private Christian school. Most people think that’s nuts. Often, when I tell people what I do, they say something along the lines of, “it takes a special person to do that, and that’s not me.”
Don’t get me wrong, I understand it takes extra amounts of patience, and some people can handle it easier than others; but I have learned more from my four-year-olds than I have from some of the people who say those things.
Two lessons that have been central to my growth in the LORD this year are what a child-like faith truly is and how easily God’s word is written on our heart.
One little girl, who is a student of mine, has a wonderful family and is being trained up in the LORD by her parents. At school she is being taught God’s word, what being a missionary means, and how to interact with others. Recently, her parents asked her if she would like to come back to our school next year. Her immediate response was, “No! I need to go to public school to tell those kids about Jesus! Jesus didn’t have any girl disciples and He needs me! Who is going to tell all the public school kids about Jesus if I don’t go there?!”
Her mother said, “Well, the Bible training at the school you are at is valuable. Why don’t you go to your room and talk to Jesus about it for a few minutes.”
A few minutes later she came running back and said, “I heard Jesus speak to me! He said I need to stay at this school, so that’s what I will do!”
How incredible is this story? Not only was this four-year-old able to hear and understand Jesus, her heart for being a missionary at school is so big! Can any of us see this heart in ourselves? I certainly am not able to, but I do see the truth behind a child-like faith.
What I have learned about a child-like faith is that it is simple, accepting, obedient and loving. A child-like faith never questions, just believes. A child-like faith accepts God’s love without doubt. A child-like faith strives to please God above all others. A child-like faith is joyful.
I have been greatly challenged by the faith of this four-year-old. How do I get it? How can my faith be like hers?
It is quite humorous to me that a spiritual role model the Lord has used this year was one of my four-year-old students.
Jesus says, “unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” I think that is for a few reasons. One, children come to Jesus without any reservations. As adults we have doubts, concerns, more intricate thoughts and more ways the enemy can use those thoughts. Children just come and love Jesus without any doubts or concerns. Children accept Jesus’ love without really even thinking about it. Adults don’t.
The ability to accept Jesus’ love without question is something difficult to cultivate. Questioning Christ’s love only steals our joy and freedom in Christ. I have only recently begun to accept God’s love as true and consistent and worth putting my trust in. Accepting God’s love has given me so much freedom and joy! It reminds me of some four-year-olds I know.
Secondly, children desire to please Christ above all else. In the story I shared above, that student desired to be Jesus’ girl disciple simply because she knew he needed her. How does a four-year-old get that when so many adults don’t? Jesus needs all of us! He needs all of us girls to be His disciples in the school, in the business office, on Broadway, in the college dorm, at home, at church, at the grocery store, and in the gym. Being a disciple means loving others and sharing Christ with them in all areas of life. We don’t have to be on a mission trip in Africa, or a mission trip in Asia, or even a mission trip around the United States; although those are all wonderful and great ways to share Christ with people who don’t know Him. We can share Christ in our daily meanderings of life, and that means just as much to Christ. I think the LORD smiled when He heard this student’s desire to share Christ with her kindergarten classmates. I think the LORD wanted to teach me something about what pleases Him and how I can obey Him. I think the LORD wants us to live each day to share him, to make connections with others, and to grow an innocent, simple faith.
It is time to make faith in Christ something that is less complicated and hard to understand. It’s simple; love the LORD and obey His commands. Love others compassionately, and share with others the love you know in Christ.
Through this story the LORD has also shared with me the power of His Holy Spirit. God spoke to this student and she understood it. God speaks to me and I can understand it too. His voice is worth listening to, talking to and spending time with. I love how God has a unique relationship with all of us; four-year-olds and 22-year-olds alike!
So that is my simple story of how my faith has grown from the faith of a four-year-old. It’s nothing profound, but simply God’s truth.
*Photo courtesy of Britney at: baretribe.blogspot.com