As my kids have been getting older (they are still quite young at 6, 4 and 3 years old), the things they say become more insightful, deep and well-thought. Sometimes kids say hilariously silly things, but every so often they say something that makes you turn your head and say, “Wow did that thought really just come from the mind of a little kid?!?” Here are some things my own kids have said lately that have impressed me.
1. Yesterday after church we saw a few dozen geese by the lake, and our family is very familiar with the behavior of geese because we previously lived on a pond in Kokomo, IN before recently moving back to Alabama. We often fed the ducks and fish, but the geese would always make their way toward us, hissing and scaring away the other animals, hogging the bread pieces we were throwing into the pond. When our kids saw this flock of geese yesterday, they quickly remembered the geese from Indiana, and Will said this:
You know, geese are really selfish. All they care about is feeding themselves, and they do not care about anyone else having food too.
Julie Beth and Sam agreed with Will’s insight, and to me it instantly brought to mind the many stories and verses in the Bible where God instructs His people to take care of the poor and to make sure the hungry are fed.
If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? (1 John 3:17 NIV)
2. This summer when we were on vacation at Orange Beach, AL, Julie Beth could not help but notice the plentiful seaweed in the ocean water one day, so she made this brilliant statement:
Daddy, the ocean looks so clean from the outside, but it is sooooo yucky on the inside!
I agreed with her about the obvious truth of the situation, as it was a particularly bad day for sea-weed, yet you only really saw the seaweed when you got down into the water. The ocean still looked as beautiful as ever from the balcony. Not only did she sound really cute saying these words, but on a deeper level, I found it fascinating that Julie Beth, at 4-years-old, was already so perceptive. It brought to mind how common it is for people to look happy, strong, capable and pure on the outside, while on the inside they are brokenhearted, insecure, immature or even full of deceit.
Think of when King Saul, Israel’s very 1st king, was not getting the job done, and God gave the priest Samuel the task of anointing a new king, which is when we were introduced to the shepherd boy David, who would eventually become a great king for Israel. This is how God asked Samuel to proceed…
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7 NIV)
3. Lastly is a phrase I hear from my kids often:
I want to do it myself, but I need you to help me!
Most recently Julie Beth says this as she has learned to wipe her own bottom, but she wants me to double check after she is done. Sam says it sometimes when he gets into his carseat and wants to buckle himself. He can mostly do it, but usually there is 1 part that he cannot click into place.
Will has become quite the independent swimmer this summer, but sometimes he overdoes it a bit by staying in the deep end too long. When we were camping at Fall Creek Falls a couple weeks ago, he wanted to slide down the cascades (small waterfalls that make natural water-slides) by himself, but he wanted me to be at the bottom just in case he had trouble in the deeper moving water without a flotation device. He had similar nervousness sometimes swimming in the ocean this summer, so in these situations I let him do things on his own, while staying nearby so I am there whenever he needs me. We only take this approach because all the swimming practice and training he has had over the years has prepared him to do it mostly on his own.
Our kids find great comfort knowing that their parents are always there for them when they struggle or fall, and because we are there, they are much more willing to set forth on new adventures and try to conquer difficult obstacles. In the same way, all of us who are Christians know that God is always there for us. If we feel that it is time to take a leap of faith, we can trust that God is there when we do struggle or fall along the way.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV)