Tuesday, August 1, 2017

A Not So Simple Question Asked Simply

It's that time of the year in the Dansville Free Methodist Church when we gladly endure what is known as VBS week. I wonder if there's a coincidence that it's so close to "Shark Week"? Anyway...

Last year I helped out with the music, and I was looking forward to doing that again this year. However my wife told me they were using videos, so I thought perhaps I could be of use for the story time sessions.

It was coming to the close of our second story time session yesterday when I said to the kids gathered if they had any questions or something they wanted to say, they could. We had just done a 10 minute overview of Moses' life, from his birth to when he led the people across the Red Sea. The story being conveyed to them was that when we have God with us, we can stand up to anything.

This one little girl though asked a very good question that really caught me off guard. She doesn't come to the church regularly, and I guess she had to be maybe 7 years old. She asked "When it rains does that mean God is crying?" It took me a couple seconds to come up with an answer, because 1) I thought it was a very good question, and 2) I wanted to tie it into the story somehow.

So I said to her "You know what? There are a lot of things that go on in this world that makes God very sad, and they probably do make Him cry. But He gives us His power to make things right, even when things are wrong. As for rain being God's tears, no they aren't, and sometimes rain can be a good thing. It helps pretty flowers grow, and farmers need rain." I should have followed that up with "But if seeing it rain helps you remember that God is sad about all those people who do bad things, and that He wants you to do good things that tell others about Him, then that's okay."

Some may have dismissed that question, or perhaps laughed it off or asked "Who told you that?" I, however, am reminded of Jesus' words in Mark 10:13-16, that the Kingdom of God belongs to those who receive the truth as a child does. This young girl knew enough that God can show emotions, such as sadness. She might not know that God created a perfect world that we brought sin into. She might not know about theodicy, or how can God be good when so much evil exists in the world. To her, evil might be someone who picks on her at school.

To me though, her question revealed that she knows, perhaps deep down, that God has a standard, and that our world falls short of that standard.

It's my calling in life to proclaim the gospel, and to help others mature in their walk. It's wonderful when God flips the script and uses the question from a child to help me better understand Him.

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