Friday, April 25, 2014

Checking Your Resolve: Part 2

Preparation is only the beginning of a plan. The next step is putting that plan into action. After repacking into Kristen’s car because mine wouldn’t start, off to Raleigh we went. That was a “worry” tactic for weekend from the enemy, I am sure.

We arrived at the tail end of the Friday night session. However, Kristen and I were still able to meet the children. There were five, two boys and three girls, ranging from 5-9. They were enthusiastic about the weekend so we became enthusiastic too. I sensed God’s presence was there with me so I reminded myself to leave the results in His capable hands.

I taught 3 lessons during the day. The first had to do with being fisher’s of men and what that could mean for them. The third one had to do with how special they are to God. Then, I helped them realize God has given each of us a special gift to share, which can help lead others to Jesus. Each of these lessons went well and the children responded to my questions. However, the second lesson evoked questions from them.

In the second lesson, I read the book Heaven Is For Real for kids by Todd and Sonja Burpo about there son's (Colton) experience with heaven. I hadn’t read much, when Zeb, age 8, skeptically asked, “Did he ‘really’ go to heaven?” 

I responded enthusiastically, "Yes he did. Not everybody gets to go to heaven like Colton, but God chooses a few to make the round trip from time to time. God wants us to know that Heaven is a real place and what it is going to be like when we arrive. Knowing about heaven gives us confidence of our future home and helps us share heaven’s reality with others."

As I progressed to the pages with the animals, Sarah, age 5, responded. She calmly came and nestled between the book I was holding up and me. We continued to discuss what animals they wanted to play with when they arrived in heaven. Meanwhile, I noticed Sarah’s little finger on the brown dog in the picture. She still made no comment. As I turned to the next page though she peacefully returned to her seat.

Later, I overheard this conversation.

Adult: I’m so sorry your dog died this week. But I bet he is in heaven right now playing with the dog I lost.

Sarah: Yes, I know that now. We read a book in class today that told me so.

Adult: What was the name of the book?

Sarah: Heaven Is Real

Adult: I am glad you are not sad anymore.

Sarah smiled and skipped off to play.

Was I sent to calm the cries of Sarah's aching heart? Yes among others. Even though I struggled with going, God had a specific purpose in mind for me as His representative. He led my planning so I would have something for each of the kids on their level of understanding.

Monday, I got this email from the mother of Zeb:

I just want to share with you all what an impact the weekend had on my family, especially Zeb. He has been a part of two LWM at our church but this was the first time he has gone with us as team members (Lydia's third). Last night and again this morning when he was praying he thanked God for the weekend and his new friends, asked God to help him keep the 10 commandments and the coolest, he prayed next time he could give his testimony. Mary Jane and Kristen, a huge thank you for all you taught and the time you spent with our precious children!

God gave me victory over all my reluctances when I choose Him over my fears. He allowed me to receive much more affirmation then I ever expected. I did not think I did anything outstanding while I was doing the task but God blessed the time and used it to make me stand out.

Look what I would have missed, if I had been stubborn and said no.

So again I ask you: Have you had times lately where you know God has asked you to serve  in a situation and you allowed your fears to keep you bound to indecisiveness and fear. I want to encourage you again with my results to press through and see God’s affirmation and victory spread out before you. He never expects us to do it alone. He is always right there with us.  We just have to seek Him and then rest knowing His wisdom is on the way.

Part 1 of  Checking Your Resolve