Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sunday Devotions - Childhood; Intense love and learning

Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover.  When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it.  Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends.  When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him.  After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.  Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.  When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”

 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he was saying to them.
Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.  Luke 2:44-52

My boys Yip and Yap are getting the hang of second grade; longer spelling lists and more reading home. Luckily they have a great teacher this year that seems to really keep them motivated and engaged in their learning. 

More than once my boys have come home excited to share some tidbit of new information. "Did you know tomatoes are fruits NOT a vegetable?" " Did you know pigs are smarter than dogs?" It will be amazing what I'll learn by the end of the year with teachers like my sons. 

Even though my boys are only eight years old, and to me they seem so very young, they are learning new things everyday and given the opportunity they are excited to share their knowledge. That doesn't mean they always make the best decisions however. Yip made a bow from a stick and arrows from bamboo skewers...and managed to shoot me in the head while showing off hsi skills. 

Children are learning and they'll make mistakes. Even the boy Jesus made a mistake (a worldly one anyway). Instead of sticking with the traveling party or telling Joseph or Mary where he was going he stayed in the Temple to learn and gain and share understanding. He was following His Father's instructions. I wonder if the temple priests weren't just a little overwhelmed with the presence of Jesus. 

God sent Jesus to Earth not as a grown man but as a baby to grow and have a childhood and experience a childhood that each human on Earth experiences. Jesus as a child had that same willingness and excitement to learn as our children today. 

We know that God and Jesus dearly loves children in a very special way. In a way that I imagine I don't have the capacity to understand. God loves our children more than we do! 

Matthew 19:14

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Matthew 21:16

“Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him.

“Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read,

“‘From the lips of children and infants,  you, Lord, have called forth your praise?”

Matthew 11:25

At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.

Children can really try the patience of parents and other adults. Children are loud and messy and seem to be deaf when their parents speak. Children are reckless and impatient and have poor judgement. 

But God designed childhood to be just like this. God has a very special reason that we all had a childhood. 

Childhood is also the place in our lives where children nurture their dreams and creativity. Childhood should provide a safe environment for making mistakes and learning from them. God has provided children knowledge, faith, trust and understanding that adults may never truly fathom. Childhood is a precious, precious gift and we adults would do well to remember the details of our own just a little bit better. 

Yes, our kids can be trying. That's the way God made them....and they are perfect!! Childhood is perfect, and short, let's give our kids a break today. 

Dear Heavenly Father, Grant me patience today as a parent. When I feel like I'm at my wit's end with my children help me to remember that you made them perfect. Their childhood is fleeting and precious to them. Help me nurture them during this time in their lives and open my heart to learn from the. Amen. 


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