02 April 2013

Ministering to Children in Difficult Times

I have appreciated Brian Croft's ministry for some time now. His book, Visit the Sick, Ministering God's Grace in Times of Illness is a particular favorite. Recently Mez McConnell re-posted his blog post on ministering to children in tough times. He spoke with a young child whose father left the family. In it we read

God teaches us important lessons when we suffer.  A very thoughtful question that came from her mouth was, “Why is God allowing my daddy to leave?  If God is good to us, then why would he allow this?”  Yes…only 6 years old.  I cannot tell her, her daddy will come home and everything will be alright.  I do not know.  What I did say is she needed to know a common way God is at work in the lives of all Christians, regardless our age.  God teaches us some amazing lessons when we suffer.  We may not see them now, but we will see them clearer when some time has passed.  I believe this smart little girl as well as other children can begin to understand this merciful quality about our sovereign God.

Very sound and Biblical advice. Advice even we as adults can and should apply during difficult circumstances.

He concludes with the following

Jesus will always be there for you.  I am uncertain if her daddy will come home, but I am certain that if this little girl trusts in Jesus Christ, Jesus will never forsake her or her mom.  Whether 6 years old or 60 years old, we must always turn the eyes of others off the struggle and urge them to fix their eyes upon Christ (Heb. 12:2).  I reminded her that even though those she loves in her life will let her down, Jesus will never forsake her.  I shared the gospel with her and allowed this to be a key time for her to see her need for Christ both for forgiveness of sin as well as to have a King and Father who will always be with her.

...Speak truth.  Remind children of the character of God and that he is faithful even in suffering.  Remind them of their need for Christ.  Do not be amazed years later if you look back on this painful moment as a turning point in that child’s faith as they grasped the truth of God’s Word because of a heightened desire for answers that provide hope. 

Extreme suffering is not a bad thing that we must endure. God gets glory and works in us to produce faith and good works. Let's embrace these times and those of others, especially children.

Read the entire article here

No comments: