Before we left for Spain, the children's department at our church (Sunrise church in Rialto - www.sunrisechurch.org - awesome ministry - check it out!!!) was starting up a program for the elementary kids going through the book, 'Passing the Baton' by Grant Edwards. Its a 10 lesson program for parents and their children, guiding them into a meaningful relationship with Jesus and teaching them about discipleship.
I signed up for the program even though I knew we wouldn't be there for the 10 weeks and spoke to the leader about my plan to save the book for when Johann came home so we could do it as a family in Spain.
Well, now that we're all settled into our new home, we have started the lessons and the first was such a huge blessing to us, I thought I'd share it.
The lesson was on Trust, describing the child's special place in the family of God and the great adventure He has planned for her. The first exercise was telling Reese we had $5.00 for her and that she could have it to buy whatever she wanted IF she could find it...then we proceeded to blindfold her, put socks on her hands, put her ipod and headphones on, and a Popsicle in her mouth...so she couldn't hear, see, feel or taste the money in order to find it....then slowly, we took away the DISTRACTIONS from her, ending with the blindfold and she of course, immediately found the money. Then we talked about how God has amazing gifts for us too, but we can't find them or use them if we are too distracted with our toys, or favorite movies or other friends, etc. to hear what He is telling us to do, or where He is telling us to go.
Next we talked about trust. Why should we trust that God's heart toward us is good? Why should we follow His way instead of going with what we think is best? Well, the answer is very simple...because God is God. Luckily for us though, God knows that we're human and sometimes have trouble with faith. And because He knows these things about us, He, in His infinite wisdom and love for us does what some would consider unthinkable...He proves Himself to us (the psalm says "Oh taste and see that the Lord is good" - try Him out, so to speak; and see for yourself!) So, He showers us with his love and care, He provides for our needs and tops it off each night with beautiful sun sets and a starry sky. He shows us over and over how much He cares for us and even when we blow it, He gives us another chance.
So, the exercise for this lesson had us read a story about two young girls who were mountain climbing and after a sudden snow storm hit, were caught on a cliff and told to jump onto an unseen ledge below. It was a leap of faith for them to take the word of the park ranger, but they took the chance and jumped and landed safely on the ledge where they could wait out the storm until help would arrive.
We then had Reese stand on a chair and blind folded her. She knew her dad was standing behind her and she just had to fall backward off the chair and he would catch her. Reese was a little skeptical...she was not in a hurry to jump, even though Johann was physically touching her, and telling her he would catch her and not to worry. (How often do we do this? When there are things we are afraid to do because we aren't sure that God's promises to us are true (that He'll never leave us nor forsake us) - we think, if we jump and He might not catch us)...
Well, Reese and Johann came to a compromise...she got to take the blindfold off (but kept her eyes closed) and then she felt more comfortable jumping. She finally jumped and of course Johann caught her. But, before you judge her, think about how often we ask God for compromises to His requests of us? And, God is patient with us, gaining our trust in the little things so we'll trust Him in the big things. I'm SO glad God is patient with us.
Lastly, Rayna wanted a turn! This turned into an even greater lesson about being a good testimony. Rayna had seen her dad successfully catch her sister so she climbed right up on the chair, blindfold and all, and jumped, no coercion needed. Of COURSE her dad would catch her! I love her faith!
Our witness/testimony is so important as we share how God has worked in our lives so that others will trust Him too. I love these little girls and am so glad that we are all learning to trust God a little more each day!