Scraps of paper and fun images cover my kitchen table while a question flips around in my head: “How can I present this message on Sunday in a way that first through third graders will understand?”
They battle distractions on a daily basis and my lesson time-slot is no different:
– The fabric on the chair may feel funny.
– The new shoes Johnny just got for his birthday are rubbing a blister, but he loves them too much to say anything.
– Madison has been waiting all week to show her necklace to her friends. Her excitement prompts her to quietly get the attention of her five best friends sitting near her to show it off.
I know these distractions will be present when teaching children. I know they won’t understand the deeper meaning and even deeper impact of the words I will speak from the Bible, but God is working in them.
There will be moments when I lock eyes with a child and he or she connects with a phrase or a thought from God’s word and begins to ask questions. God will place a small group leader, parent, or an older friend or sibling in their path to grow the seed planted.
What concerns me even more than distracted kids is the possibility of distracted adults withdrawing from the process.
I worry we restrict our growth to Sundays, and we don’t see Sunday’s message as the beginning of a conversation that God wants to continue with us privately, alone with Him.
It takes time to process important information, especially when it has the power to change our lives.
Do we settle for only understanding the truths comfortable to us?
Do we choose to nod our heads in agreement instead of continuing the conversation alone with God allowing His truth to soak in and change us?
The disciples didn’t immediately understand everything Jesus spoke. Their own distractions and limitations battled their desire to know Him more, but they placed themselves at Jesus’ feet and continued the conversation.
With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.
Parable after parable unpacked in an intimate, personal relationship with Jesus Christ turned into life-change and changing lives for Christ.
We may not fully understand the source of God’s grace and love, but we can experience it in His presence.
God wants us to know Him.
He wants to fill in the blank with our names.
But when he was alone with _______ , he explained everything.
Don’t short change your growth by settling for being entertained by a parable.
Don’t let partial understanding intimidate you, God wants to fill you with His presence not make y0u feel knowledgeable.
When we choose to ponder God’s word in His presence, He will bless us with a wisdom only He can provide. The truths learned in His presence enable us to being Him glory.