- Last Updated on 04:36 PM 04/18/13
- BY DR. RUSSELL LEE
Children can teach us more about faith than any other people. Simplicity. Trust. Wonder. Love. They are all there.
The simplicity of the prayers they learn from the time they are able to talk reminds us of the way Jesus teaches. Direct and to the point, he did not complicate the faith at all.
One of the sweetest childhood prayers I learned is still with me. It drives how I think and live each day.
Children’s Mealtime Blessing
Thank you for the world so sweet,
Thank you for the food we eat.
Thank you for the birds that sing,
Thank you God for everything. Amen!
When we look around at the world as a child, it can indeed be sweet. People talk funny to us. They make fools of themselves to prompt a smile or laugh.
Our food is provided by those we love. We don’t have to worry about it. It just keeps arriving on time and with great love.
It is natural to thank God for it because we are glad that he provides it. We do not question where it comes from. Our faith is simple, for we are not able to complicate it. We are children.
We look around before we can even walk and see the birds. We thrill at their trills. We are amazed when they flap their wings and fly. We give thanks for them and all the other blessings of nature.
Sunshine and rain, snow and wind, animals, waterfalls, oceans and mountains, God has made them all. We thank the one who made them for us.
When we grow up, we learn about glaciers and earthquakes, evolution and creationism. The further we get from our childhood faith, the further away from God we are.
The everything of this prayer pretty much covers it all. In fact, it does. Anything we take out of that everything cheapens it and makes our faith weaker.
When we pray at meals (and we should pray at all of them), many adults call up the childhood prayers their parents and grandparents taught them. This is good, for it balances us. It restores us. It places the perspective where it should be. God is in charge, and he loves us.
A Child’s Grace
God is great, and God is good,
And we thank God for our food;
By God’s hand we must be fed,
Give us Lord, our daily bread. Amen!
The trust it takes to know that God is in charge, that he gives us our daily food, is phenomenal. How often we as adults stray away from this basic principle we learned as children!
As we regain that trust once again, God gives us peace and laughter. As we return to what we once knew, we find that God really is in charge, and we become good with that.
Yes, we might make the money which provides the food. But God gives us the hands, minds and skills to earn that salary or income.
Father, we thank thee for the night,
And for the pleasant morning light.
For rest and food and loving care,
And all that makes the day so fair.
Help us to do the thing we should,
To be to others kind and good,
In all we do, in all we say,
To grow more loving every day.
When we lay our heads on the pillow at night, or in the daytime if we work nights, we must stop wondering and worrying, and rest in the wonder of what God has done. He has indeed made this world. He created the light and the darkness.
Every day, light breaks out of the darkness. Not just the sunshine to begin the day. A new idea after the struggle of inspiration. Calm in the midst of the storm. The light at the end of the tunnel.
As a child of God, we rest in the arms of our Father God. We listen to Jesus who embraces us with love and says that people should be like us children to enter the kingdom.
The key part for us now is that we live as his children. That we ask God to help us do the things we should.
To be kind and good to others, and in all we do and say to grow more loving every day is one of the best mottoes we can entertain. There is much more room for all of this as we grow to be more like the little children who trusted in God no matter what.
Be a child. Be a child of God.
One of the greatest songs ever written, and I love to have adults sing it along with children in worship, is “Jesus Loves Me.”
Jesus loves me! This I know, for the Bible tells me so;
Little ones to Him belong; They are weak, but He is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me, for the Bible tells me so.