Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.
“And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me.
(Matthew 18:2-5 NLT)
I’m probably the last person to ever imagine that I would actually enjoy other people’s kids, but it’s obvious to me now that God has been working on my heart ( a lot!). Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a kid hater, I’ve got two sons that are my world, but apart from my nephews and close friends’ children – I was always, “no thanks, just steer clear of the kids!”. Not surprisingly, it’s kind of wild to think that I’ve been serving in our children’s ministry for 5 years now! I always joke that it’s my military background, that’s how I can handle the kids in their ‘crazy’ state – but it’s really due to a lot of prayer and heart changing. I pray through the week for all of the children; they’ve touched my heart, sure they can be loud and hyper, and sometimes they can even be disrespectful – but they ARE kids. I imagine school can be stressful to them, they have been in a classroom learning most of the day, they need to run around and release some of that pent up energy. Children have this hungry heart – a heart that just wants to love and receive attention.
When Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry with his disciples. He said to them, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children.
(Mark 10:14 NLT)
These kids really have grown on me, even more so, the ones who give me a hard time. I pray through the week for them: for their school days to be rewarding for them, for their home lives to be peaceful and loving, for their hearts to be protected from anyone or anything that would harm them or tarnish their innocence and most importantly that they would know the true love of their Heavenly Father, that they would accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior and that they would live a life for Him. One of the greatest joys about connecting with these precious hearts – somedays, we have the honor to lead them in a prayer to accept Jesus in those sweet little hungry hearts, to see their faces light up and receive Him with such enthusiasm – well there’s no way to adequately describe the experience!
All I can say is that when I started out volunteering, I thought I was just ‘doing my part’; serving our church by helping them out, turns out that I’m the one who has been immeasurably blessed.
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve…
(Mark 10:45 NIV)
The generous will prosper;
those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.
(Proverbs 11:25 NLT)
And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.
(Ezekiel 36:26 NLT)