Sunday, August 10, 2008

Learning to Swim Upstream

Lexi has always been very bold in professing her love for God. As an infant, she would sit in the grocery cart and sing "Jesus Loves Me" at the top of her lungs in Walmart. When she started memorizing scriptures, she would yell them out as loud as she could in restaurants, stores, dressing rooms, wherever! And this weekend, we got to hang out with some of our good friends from Dallas who were in town on vacation. Their little girl, Micah, who is 9, was riding in our car to the beach with us and Lexi said, "I love God. He's my best friend. I love him so much. Do you love God too?" And my heart sunk. Not because Micah doesn't love God. Micah loves God! But my little girl has never been exposed to people that DON'T love God. She knows no different. In her mind, everyone goes to church and everyone believes in God and everyone loves God because that has been her life! The thought occurred to me in the car at that moment that we have to have a little chat before school starts next week. Because she will likely be in class, in the lunchroom, on the playground, with children who have never even heard of God, children who worship another God, and children who have been taught that there is no God. And while I never want her to lose her boldness and her confidence, I do want her to understand that not everyone will be as accepting of her beliefs as Micah. And that's okay. That's between them and God. Don't get me wrong. I'm glad that she will be with children who come from so many backgrounds and beliefs. I never want us to be that family that is stuck in our holy huddle. Too heavenly minded to be of any earthly good. I want us to be in the world, to befriend others with different beliefs, to always have people in our circle who DON'T believe what we believe, to love them and meet their needs NOT so they'll come to my church, but just because that's what God requires of love one another.

I've already thought about what I'd like to say to her in our little chat. I'd like to say, "What if someone told you that your daddy was just pretend, just make believe, he didn't really exist, he's not real. What would you say?" And she would say, "Well, that's not true, I talked to him this morning, I had breakfast with him, he held me in his arms while I fell asleep last night, of course he's real." And just as much as you know without a doubt that your daddy is real, so is God. When Daddy needed a job, He provided. When we needed a house to live in, He provided for us. When Daddy needed that airline ticket to North Carolina for his grandmother's funeral, God provided and it didn't cost us a dime. When Daddy had to finish seminary and we didn't have the money, God provided. When Granny's back was sore and you prayed for her God healed her. So just like you know that Daddy is real because he does things for you, God is real too and we know that because he does things for us all the time. And while we can't see God like we can see Daddy, we still know he exists. And that's called faith, believing in something we can't see. And if everyone in the room tried to convince you that Daddy was pretend, would you start to believe them? NO! Because you know better. The same is true with God. Everyone around you may tell you He's not real, He's pretend, but you KNOW that's not true. Because He has shown his love for you and for our family, He has provided for us in ways that could only come from Him! He has met needs that only He knew about.

Yes, my little girl is growing up indeed! And I pray she'll always have the boldness to profess her faith even when everyone around her believes in something different. To swim upstream!


Kim said...

That is a beautiful explanation for a child.

Texas Aggie in Florida said...

We actually had our little talk this afternoon after church and it couldn't have gone better. She seemed to completely understand everything and was appalled at the fact that there are actually people in the world who don't believe in God, like HOW can that be? Are they crazy? It was a sweet time. I said, "Can you imagine NOT loving someone who REALLY REALLY loved you?" Like NOT loving your mommy or daddy? And she couldn't. I said, "that's what it would be like to not love God. He loves you SOOOOO much!"

I love that girl!

kristi said...

I have thought about this same thing...and have known it is coming up for us, too. Part of growing!