Wednesday, April 1, 2009

How Do You Explain God?

How do you explain God to a 6 year old child? How do you explain God to someone who has never heard of Him? Thought of Him? Or in her little mind, seen much evidence of Him in her life?

Well, after our day on Monday, things got very interesting last night. As with the anger and tears that we've experienced in the past, Monday was like a cleansing rain. Yesterday, she was back to herself... talking to me constantly, coloring me a beautiful bookmark and soaking in our praise of her amazing creative ability.

From my last post, I mentioned that she had a place on her hand that was causing me concern... It started about a week ago as just a little bump that was all of sudden starting to get red and look infected. I immediately started applying antibiotic cream and covering it so that it wouldn't spread. But by Monday night, it looked terrible... really red, swollen, just yukky. So that was what brought the angry words about God on Monday night, when we looked at it, even she knew I was going to have to call the doctor on Tuesday.

Well, when Scott put her to bed on Monday night, he prayed for her hand and yesterday morning, when I checked it, it was GREATLY improved...the swelling was gone and it was just a little red! By the afternoon, it looked even better!!

When I put her to bed last night, I pointed out that daddy had prayed for her hand and look at how much better it is... And that brought a barrage of questions...

On Monday night, she started with Is He a boy or girl? Then last night... Where is God? Why can't I see Him? Is He in the sky? Is He looking over us? Is He nice or mean? Who does God pray to?

How do you explain that God is Spirit...that He's not a boy or a girl? I told her that He tells us to call Him Father so I think of Him as a boy... But Jesus talked about how He longed to gather Jerusalem to Himself as a mother hen gathers her chicks under her wings...

So God is Father... He is a Warrior... He is a Shepherd... But He nurtures us, cares for us and loves us like a mother for her children...

How do you explain that just because we can't see God, He is still there? How do I explain where He lives? That yes, He is watching over us every moment, that He never slumbers nor sleeps?

How do I explain to a 6 year old, who has never heard of Him...who has never heard the word sin...who has no concept of how desperately we need a Savior to be reconciled to God, that it's not a matter of nice or mean...that it's about the most AMAZING love we could ever imagine? That we can't measure who He is by our circumstances but by the single greatest act of love in the history of creation?

And how do I explain to her that God doesn't need anyone to pray for? That He is the Creator of all things...that He is above all things...that all things were created by Him and for Him and that He answers to no one?

Some pretty deep questions for a 6 year old!!

I've been thinking about "unreached people groups" (people who have never heard the gospel) since our church showed us a video. I had no idea that, according to the Joshua Project, 40.8% of the world's population is still unreached with the gospel. That was shocking to me!

And now, as we struggle to teach Abby about God, I have a whole new appreciation for the struggles that missionaries face... In America, even if you don't believe in Jesus, at least most everyone has some concept of God. And to even begin to have an understanding of Jesus, you have to get the magnitude and awesomeness of God.

(Side trail... I think if people would really stop and consider the implications of God they might be more able to see their need for a Savior. I think I'll flesh that thought out in another blog though...that could be a long side trail.)

But how can Abby even begin to grasp the idea of Jesus until she begins to get the magnitude of God? Even though I didn't become a Christian till Zack was about 5, God was not a foreign idea to them...

I know it's not anything I have to worry about... God is holding her in the palm of His hand and He loves her beyond anything I could imagine... So I trust Him to speak to her heart, at just the right time, to give her understanding at just the right moment and to give Scott and I the words of wisdom that we need for every conversation...

But as her questions make me stop and consider our awesome God, I am once again overwhelmed at how truly AMAZING He is!!


Chris said...

Hard to fathom that your own child is virtually an "unreached person". God put a God-sized hole in everyone's heart she will feel the need of Him. She probably has heard of bad spirits or "djins" from her previous care-givers.
China's atheist government has done a very "good" job with the younger generation. We noticed that when talking with one of our guides, she was 20-ish and had no concept of God

trina said...

I love it~! God is at work in her little heart. You are doing such a wonderful this parent thing. :)