What if the children came to Jesus? What if they could hear him? What if they knew how to boldly approach his throne? What would they see? How would they display his grace, mercy and compassion? What if God was their saviour and they knew the authority they have in God? What if, in their innocence, they speak God’s truth out without hindrance? How would we receive their revelations? How would we respond to their God-directed rebukes? Would we brush them off? Is it possible for them to be guided to the one who is their saviour and deeply loves them?
I often reflect on what I experienced as a child. The undeterred access from the enemy to torment me. How would my childhood be different if I wasn’t just taught to absorb bible teachings. What if I knew how to find the Heavenly Father, his son Jesus, or know the tangible presence of the Holy Spirit in my everyday life? What if I knew then what I know now? I remember when I was a little girl singing in the worship service Holy Spirit touched my soul. He was just so beautiful, bigger and more loving then I had ever known. I was moved to tears. Being alarmed by the sudden noise of a sobbing child I was disciplined and told to be quiet. I remember in that moment I asked God to never show himself to me in public again. To not ever touch me again. Thankfully he didn’t honour my request, but it took many years for me to be okay with him moving visibly through me.
Not all churches resist children meeting God. I once taught children and had (and still do) a passion for them to know God for themselves. While I was limited to my own personal revelation, I did believe that they could personally know God. As I traveled to children’s conferences and churches I observed that while this was something that was deeply desired among many leaders, the children who found God were discussed as something unusual. Many of these children were placed on pedestals that they weren’t ready for. As if discovering God and moving in his Spirit was something different to normal.
Another personal discovery was the limitations that I applied on God and children. As a mother of three kids I have met my own resistance to God moving through my children. I have placed limits on the depth of what my children might experience. For me it was this belief that they weren’t ready for the cost of truly knowing God. Somehow believing that if I kept God’s fullness away that I would protect them from the harshness in this world. I was a child who wasn’t protected from the world or the enemy and somehow I had associated this price with knowing God. This belief was based on fear and lies. If anything, had I known the fullness of his love and been taught hearing God’s voice and experiencing him was normal, perhaps things would have been different.
I remember many years ago I was struggling with something that my children were experiencing. I wanted to remove them from the situation and God wouldn’t let me. I was absolutely angry with God that he wouldn’t allow my intervention. His response I still remember today. “Cheryl they are my children, I love them more then you could ever comprehend. You of all people know that I talk to children and they hear me. Your heart has been for me to move powerfully through children, yet you hold onto your own and will not allow me to move through them. What if I could move through them in ways that would impact and transform the world they live in. If you would let me, I will move through your children in powerful ways. They will show my grace and love in ways that I can’t through you.” His words were strong, but so right. I couldn’t contest his truth. In response to God’s leading, I kept my children in a situation that I personally didn’t like. God didn’t abandon my children as I imaged, no he invited me sit next to them through it all. I still had a role, just not the one I imaged. He guided us on how to approach this challenging situation. I watched my children arise from this situation understanding a greater depth of their value and worth. Into the lies, God spoke his truth. Their grace towards others was, as God said, better then I would have ever shown. I watched my children impact their world around them in ways that blew me away. Had I not stepped out of my limitations then this would never had happened. God used their adversity to show his love and build in them resilience. I learned the importance of, as a parent, allowing God’s hand to direct my steps and not my natural limiting fear. I had it in my mind that they were being put in un-soothed danger as I experienced in my childhood. However, God did not put my children in danger, but directed them out of it.
To often we adults limit our children’s access to God being through us. But I know God doesn’t want us to be his children’s access point. What if God was to our children the all-knowing one, the one who is everywhere, our children’s saviour? My challenge everyday is how I can, as an adult, step out of my limitations on God and the children in my life. To trust that God is with them and is able to relate to them and move through them. For me this is a challenge to take the leap out of fear and to trust in his love and care of them. When I have allowed God to be God, letting him redirect what my role is and what his role is, I have discovered just how powerfully God can speak and move through children.