I remember several years ago, my wife and I picked up our , then four year old, son from preschool and brought him back to the church with us for lunch. As we exited the car and approached the sidewalk, he stopped quickly as though he had left his candy treat in his seat. He gazed up at me for a moment and said “Dad, we need to pray to God right now.” Puzzled as to what brought this sudden need to pray, I told him we could right there in the front driveway of the church. Before I could compose myself and begin to pray, Carter shouted in his loud voice “GOD!” I looked down to see his face gazing toward the sky expectantly. With only a moment of hesitation to be sure we were with him in prayer, he loudly proclaimed “We just want to tell you it is a beautiful day. Good job!”
Of course my wife and I smiled during the moment but I almost fell guilty for writing this off as simple cute stuff that kids do. I realized that my son actually understood what most of us tend to forget. He had complete faith that God was listening and He cares about us. In fact, the only hesitation Carter had in that moment was whether we were joining him in his words of praise to God.
At that time in our life, the church I was serving at had started to walk an uncertain journey with our lead pastor, Bob Felts. He had just shared with our community in a newspaper article “The Tidal Wave I Never Saw Coming” about the recent discovery of cancer in his lungs. Those times raised many questions about reasons and timing. I remember when the news first hit, a man said to me “If God allows this to happen to one of His servants then I don’t know if I can believe in Him at all.” It is a thought many have when faced with difficult times and great obstacles. We question whether He loves us and whether He is hearing us.
During that difficult time, I was drawn back to the simple but solid faith of my son. In the Bible, Jesus says that we are to accept the Kingdom of God in the simplicity of a child (Mark 10:15). God tells us that He has a good plan and a hope for our future (Jeremiah 29:11). There is never a guarantee that the followers of Jesus Christ will be free from suffering. Instead there is a promise that God will be with us as we go through our sufferings. God promises us that in our weakest moments His strength will be seen (II Corinthians 12:9-10.) My friend Ben posted on his facebook wall the other day a quote that seemed to put things in perspective for me. The quote was from Charles H. Spurgeon.
“If we cannot believe God when circumstances seem to be against us, we do not believe Him at all.”
What a beautiful thing to learn a lesson in faith from my four-year old child. Just moments after giving thanks for his wonderful day at school he paused one more time and looked back up to the sky. “Umm God” he again spoke in his loud voice, “We believe you!” How important it is to have faith not only when things are going the way that we would like, but to also when the world around us seems to collapse. We are not certain of what the coming days hold but we are certain that God is in control.