Tuesday, October 04, 2005

If Only I Were To Have Child-like Faith Like This

This is very humbling. From Reclaim News' Pastor Jack Cascione.

"Small Children Can Minister to Adults

Life is full of surprises, some far better than we expected and others a lot worse than we expected.

Driving about 40 miles to Children's Hospital from Mayville, Wisconsin, on Thursday morning, September 15, to see our critically ill two year old grandson Mark, was one of those worse than expected times.

Ginger was in the front seat with me and my mother-in-law was in the back seat next 4 year old Alaina strapped into her booster seat.

We talked about Mark's critical condition, his yet undiagnosed disease, continued decline, and possible death, in guarded terms for Alaina's sake.

It was a somber ride, and we promised each other to be strong in front of our daughter Faye, who was with Mark.

Halfway there, Alaina announced that Mark was in the hospital and that God was taking care of him.

She likes to make up songs that don't really rhyme. She started making up a song about Mark getting better and God watching over him. My wife and I were so focused on the words we can't remember the familiar tune she used.

Then she broke into a familiar hymn that she knew and sang all four verses for us. It is called "Children of the Heavenly Father."

"Children of the heavenly Father
Safely in His bosom gather;
Nestling bird nor star in heaven;
Such a refuge e'er was given.

God His own doth tend and nourish;
In His holy courts they flourish.
>From all evil things He spares them,
In His mighty arms He bears them.

Neither life nor death shall ever
>From the Lord His children sever;
Unto them His grace He showeth,
And their sorrows all He knoweth.

Tho' He giveth or He taketh,
God His children ne'er forsaketh.
His the loving purpose solely
To preserve them pure and holy."

We all sat silently through this spontaneous rendition from the back seat.

It was hard to drive.

Small children aren't able to comprehend and react to all the emotions of life threatening diseases and possible death. They have a simple faith that hopes and trusts and waits for God's reply.

However, the Bible tells us that every baptized Christian is a priest of God.
1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

Therefore, in their own way, all Christians are capable of prayer and ministering to others in Christ's name.

She doesn't hold the pastoral office, but Alaina will never really know how much her words ministered to all of us in the car on the way to the hospital.

All of this underscores the importance of teaching children from earliest youth to memorize songs and words about Jesus.

They need to be equipped for their ministry just like every adult.

When we arrived at the hospital, I watched my wife lean over the steel crib in the pediatric intensive care room, and whisper to Mark, "Jesus loves you."

With tubes in his nose, his eyes swollen shut, a dozen sensors attached to his body, and a half a dozen intravenous bags hanging around him, he nodded his head in agreement. A little later he responded that same way to my mother.

We thank God for Mark's recovery and return home two weeks later.

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  1. Stop makin' me cry at work! That was beautiful. I don't subscribe to the newsletter, but I think I will now.

  2. Sorry about the crying thing! I guess I need one of those warning label things.

    The newsletter usually isn't about anything this personal. Reclaim News is published by Pastor Cascione, who leads Reclaiming Walther. CFW Walther was one of the fathers of the Missouri Synod, which presently has drifted far from what Mr. Walther's synod was. Most of the letters deal with subject matter involving Confessional Lutheran concerns.