Jesus talked about the importance of having the simple, trusting faith of a child. I was reminded of this principle last night. Words of truth came from the mouth of my daughter Anna, the same child that as a preschooler, spoke profound truth to me and her Daddy as we were discussing a difficult subject.
We knew of a couple that was homeless. We didn't know them well at all. What we did know was that they were temporarily homeless, had a pretty rough past that included drug-use, the wife was someone who a friend of ours had known years and years before, and that they had a baby. Their lives were pretty messy. They had been kicked out of the place where they had been staying temporarily and had no where to go. Our mutual friend had called me about the situation. She wanted to help them but didn't have room at her house.
Jim and I sat there discussing the situation. I'll be honest here and admit that I wasn't exactly jumping at the opportunity to offer them overnight hospitality. In fact, I was scared and looking for a loop-hole out of the situation. As we were talking about it, one of us said "so what does the Bible say?" --- or maybe we said "what would Jesus say?" --- either way, the question was the same. And as soon as that question was spoken, our little preschooler, who was sitting on the couch in the same room with us, chirped up and said "love your neighbor".
Not only was she paying attention to our conversation, she had been paying attention to what she'd been hearing from us, her teacher's at church, The Donut Man on videos, and even singing vegetables. She was also probably paying attention to the Holy Spirit who can speak thru a small child when her scared, small-minded parents aren't.
The couple did spend the night with us. They ended up over time coming to the Lord, living with our mutual friend, and becoming a part of our church cell group. And through the wife, one of the other sisters came to the Lord. I don't know where they are now or what they are doing, I fear that the husband is no longer walking with the Lord, but the point is, we could have let our "wise, seasoned, adult" thinking keep us from helping this couple at a time of crisis and blocked what God was doing in their lives. But Anna's child-like faith had heard over and over again to love each other, to take care of those in need, so when she saw someone in need, she knew the answer.
I shared yesterday on my blog that Anna still needs $2,000 for her upcoming mission trip to Africa. Again, this "wise, seasoned, adult" was struggling with lack of faith. My husband was struggling, too. We both were feeling very stressed out about the whole situation. It seemed that no matter what we did, we just couldn't raise the money. God just kept shutting the door on opportunities and making it seemingly impossible for us to be the source of her provision. At one point I even wondered how much money I could sell my wedding band and diamond anniversary ring for. Yeah, I was stressed that much.
Jim and I sat down and had a long, very honest talk about the situation. What it boiled down to wasn't that we didn't believe God could do it, we trusted His provision. But we didn't trust that Anna was hearing from God concerning her fundraising efforts. And we realized that in a very real way, that showed that we actually didn't trust God. We didn't trust that He was big enough to speak to her in a way she could hear. She's not in sin, she's not trying to do something crazy or against His kingdom, she's seeking Him and trying to obey Him with all her heart. She's going someplace she doesn't feel drawn to and going with a team of people she doesn't know. That alone gives me a pretty good idea that this isn't my very introverted daughter's scheme, this is of God. He clearly spoke to her when she was seeking His will about this trip and one thing He showed her was that the fields are ripe unto harvest but the laborers are few. He wanted her to be one of those laborers.
God reminded Jim who reminded me of Balaam and his donkey. Balaam was a prophet who just wasn't listening to God so God made his donkey speak! Now if God could speak thru a donkey to an inattentive, disobedient prophet, God can speak to an attentive, obedient, young missonary.
We sat down with Anna after we talked and shared our hearts with us. We even apologized to her for not trusting that she was hearing from God. I had been dealing with a lot of frustration because she wasn't going about the whole process that way that I would have gone about it.
After we told her what we'd been thinking and what God was showing us, she told us what God was saying to her. Here's what she said on facebook today after posting yesterday about the need for funds:
Just a quick update for anyone interested in my upcoming missions trip - I'd been asking a lot lately for prayers because I was freaking out about how $2000 is going to come in before May 10t. But thanks to prayers from friends, delving in to the Bible and really taking to time to think and be with God, I realized that God has told me to go on this trip, so even if I have been going about fundraising the wrong way, I'm still going to be on this trip. I don't know how it'll happen, but it will!
Now she went into a lot more details with us last night and cited scripture that the Lord had shown her but the bottom line was that God had reminded her that He had called her to go and He had promised her that He would provide. And I tell you, after listening to her speak out in faith and seeing the peace she now has about the whole thing, I felt my stressful burden lifted. And as she shared it with her siblings this morning, even more peace came over me.
In Isaiah 11:6, it is prophesied about a time when "a little child will lead them". Well, last night certainly wasn't the time that Isaiah was prophesying about, but the scripture passage did come to mind. Because once again in our family, a little child --- even if she did turn eighteen in November --- is leading us.