The Faith of a Child

emmyrose“Let’s pray, Mama.”

It is a precious thing to see the spiritual life of a young child develop. As I watch our youngest grow in body and mind, I’m reminded again of the sacred trust we have as parents to guide our children’s souls.

Emily has learned to pray. She likes to pray and is very quick to remind me to do so when I set her meals in front of her.

Her favorite is, “O give thanks to the Lord for He is good. For His mercy endures forEVER! AMEN!”

I was suffering from one of my bad headaches the other day and she laid a soft hand of concern on mine. “Would you like me to pray for you, Mama?”

And she did. She knows that when she is sick, I hold her face in my hands and ask for God’s help. Now she does it for others.

The smallest thing will cause her conversation to move God-ward. The evening of Valentine’s Day, she found me in my reading chair, fresh tears on her cheeks.

pinkroses“Mama, I wanted to hold a flower, but Bubba (Will) said no, I can’t touch them.”

Will hadn’t meant any harm, but he thought I wouldn’t want her touching one of the roses from my Valentine’s bouquet.

So I let her have one of the velvety pink beauties to admire.

She felt the petals, rubbed them on her cheek, commenting on how “lovely” it felt. (I told her that is what her little ears felt like when she was brand new!) She sniffed the flower, then had me sniff it. She asked about the leaves and the little veins in the leaves. She noticed the color of the stem and asked what it was called. A leaf fell off the rose and she asked if she could glue it on some paper.

Then she began asking about the growth of the flower and whether it would still grow. Then she said, “Who made this flower?”

“God made it, Emmy,” I answered, looking into the exquisite center of that pink rose.

“Yes, God made it. God made everything. He made the sun and moon and stars…” Her list of things went on and on.

Then she stopped suddenly and smiled, remembering something I taught her a few months ago.

“We can’t see God, but he can ALWAYS see us.”

In her preschool mind, things were being ordered. An invisible God who has done visible things in His creation.

Mary, Emmy’s sister who is 17, picked up the flower and commented, “I had a question on my test, and it asked how we know there is a God. I wrote that even though we can’t see God, we can see the evidence for His existence everywhere.”

“Amen,” I said.

“AMEN!” shouted little sister.

When children rise up, when they lie down at night, when they eat breakfast, when they admire something in nature, in the van on the way to school, morning and noon and night, we can point our children to God. (Deuteronomy 6)

To put it in Emmy’s phrasing, “O give thanks to the Lord, for his mercy endures forEVER!” AMEN!”

(Note: the rose photos were taken by Mary a couple of years ago. She has a great eye for photography.)

11 thoughts on “The Faith of a Child

  1. Kris says:

    The heart and thoughts of a child. It doesn’t get any better than that.
    What would our lives be like knowing God did not exist? We would have
    nothing to live for. For those people that don’t know God, what a sad
    existence they must have. The air we breathe, the water we drink, and the
    food we eat all blessings given to us from God. Thanks Ing for the words
    of Emily and photos by Mary. Beautiful…Kris

  2. Cindy says:

    Ingrid, you have such wonderfully written posts. They are inspirational, thought provoking, and faith based. Have you every thought of writing a daily devotional?

  3. Esther Mae Gorton says:

    Please pray that I will want to be like Emmy. I’m struggling right now. I have almost no interest in reading the Bible. I only seem to pray when I need “get me out of a jam, when HE has done it, when something good has happened, & when other ppl need prayer…
    Thank you!

    Esther Mae Gorton

  4. Ingrid Schlueter says:

    Two comments, the first to Esther. I understand what you mean and have been there many times—times of dryness, times of feeling like I only use God in emergencies, times of coldness. Sometimes the times can be explained by physical illness or situational discouragement, other times it is difficult to ascertain why. Charles Spurgeon, the great London pastor, had times of black depression as have many believers in Christ. We then beat ourselves up over it and the enemy of souls rejoices to sit on our shoulders and inject thoughts like, “What a failure. Ha! You call yourself a Christian? Nice. You haven’t even picked your Bible up.You’re a fraud.”

    The last few years have tested me as never before. There are times I have felt abandoned by God in the same way that my own parents have rejected and abandoned me. Trying to make sense of what is incomprehensible can do a lot of damage to your faith. God seems cruel to have allowed the loss of so many I loved, yet he allowed it. It’s hard to feel warmth toward God when that happens. I know you have been through a lot Esther, and I understand.

    What I’ve had to do is go back to the basics of my faith. Almost like someone who has been injured has to go back and start over to learn certain things. The simple faith of my daughter, her questions about God, the goodness and kindness of my immediate family and good friends, God’s constant provision, slowly, I have been strengthened.

    I do not measure my spirituality in terms of how many verses I have read. Sometimes I read much, other times a verse is enough. Fundamentalism often encourages a sort of legalistic checklist of behaviors that should make us feel like good Christians. Sometimes God speaks through a Scripturally sound line from a hymn, or a Scriptural word from someone in my life. His Word is our anchor and our hope, but I have no strength for checklists anymore. I am walking by faith in the strength of the Lord alone.

    Even if you take one verse and think on it, God will use that. Rest in the fact that it is God who saves, and GOD who keeps, not our performance, expectations laid out by pastors, or our own will power. The same God who saved our souls sanctifies us. That ALSO is His work. We can rest in that and like Emmy who so lovingly puts her hand in her father’s, we can trust in the character of God to keep us.

    Just a few thoughts from my own experiences. Love you, Esther. And Emmy and I do hope to see you soon!

    Cindy, I love the thought of a daily devotional. The only challenge would be the “daily” part! Some days are good ones for writing, and as I’m sure you know, others are not. I also hate feeling pressured into writing things so that my writing becomes sort of trite and not genuinely from my heart. That’s the beauty of blogging is that I can skip writing for a week, or in times of perplexity when I just want to mull things over, and other times, I can write every day! Thank you so much for your encouragement. It made my day!

  5. Cindy says:

    You’re right, having to write something every day would make it less genuine and heartfelt. So keep on doing what you are doing, it works well!

  6. Carol says:

    Precious! So good to see you and Emmy growing spiritually! There is a great post called Why do we have trials? on the Watcher’s Lamp. God does use all things and works all things for good, Praise Him!

  7. Lois D says:

    Ingrid, this post is why I am so thankful you are ‘on the web’ and have opened up your heart and family to share with others. Despite all the heartache and painful circumstances foisted upon you, you allow our loving GOD to work through you with the words you share.
    If you only knew how many of us out here you help and encourage! Someday, you WILL know, for certain, when we see Him face to face. But, until that time, please know you are loved by countless of us ‘out here’.

  8. ann says:

    Hi Ingrid. I thought you had given up on your blog . I came across it again while searching for another copy of FB Meyers “Shepherd’s Psalm” book online under images. I saw a beautiful pic of a lamb and clicked on it and there you were. Last time I visited, Emily was just a little baby. Hope all is well!

  9. cottageonstrawberry says:

    So pleased to have found this wonderful site. The title of your post lit up as I have just written a poem entitled the same thing. Loved reading about your daughter and her love for God. Child and child-like faith is priceless.

    The Faith of a Child
    A little child sat patiently
    Beside her mother’s weary feet
    And as she looked adoringly upwards
    Tear-stained cheeks, her eyes did meet

    The drops of sadness, they did fall
    Onto her daughter’s now anxious face
    And the oh! so pretty Sunday dress
    Had pools of tattered lace

    ‘Twas to be a day so full of expectation
    ‘Twas to be a day with joy unknown
    This little girl in her Sunday best
    Now sat frightened, feeling very alone

    “I cannot do it,” the mother cried
    ‘Tis way too much to bear
    Then the child reached forth so lovingly
    Reassuring her someone was there

    “Dearest Mother, I’m here for you”
    The child now sobbing, cried
    “We’ll make it through this day somehow
    The three of us alive”

    “Three, no there’s just you and me
    Two, just two, you by my side
    The days will filter past our eyes
    The tears will cleanse and hide”

    “But Mumma, Jesus lives
    And in our midst He surely stands
    He’s promised to never leave, forsake us
    Look at His love nail-pierced hands”

    The loss had come from nowhere
    And yet it hadn’t yet taken hold
    For this dear, sweet woman had nearly chosen
    To go back to a life so dark, so cold

    Suffering memories of greatest depth
    The pain almost too much to bear
    About to release her only hope
    And go back to the old life of despair

    Praise God! This little girl was open
    To her Father’s endless love
    Allowing it to flow in and through her
    Filling her mother once again, with Love

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