The first church in which I served as a full-time staff member was located in the Hill Country of Central Texas. Early in my ministry there, I led a retreat at a ranch where one of the church’s deacons worked as the livestock manager. I remember this humble rancher talking about the Texas hills in the background and how they reminded him of what the psalmist said, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.” (Psalm 121:1, KJV).
As I think about kids today, I wonder if they know the true source of their help. Many voices tell them that their help comes from friends, family, teachers, video games, sports, music, dance, and so forth. The Bible tells us that the help kids need can only come from God the Creator, God the Protector, and God the Savior.
God the Creator—The psalmist asks, “When I observe Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You set in place, what is man that You remember him, the son of man that You look after him?” (Psalm 8:3-4, HCSB) Kids are challenged almost daily with falsehoods about creation. We can show children the Truth in the Scriptures and assure them that the God who made space with all of its vastness cares for the tiniest of His creatures, and especially for them.
God the Protector—Jesus said, “ Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s consent.” (Matthew 10:29, HCSB) Kids live in a scary world. They go to school not knowing if someone might show up and start shooting at them, or if a bully will make their life miserable, or if the teacher will make them pull a red card. We can teach children that God is in control. Even amidst uncertainty, tragedy, and pain, God is there.
God the Savior—Paul writes, “For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift—not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8-10, HCSB)
God’s message is one of hope and redemption. Kids wonder why they’re not very good at baseball, or why they have to go to school when they feel inadequate academically, or why their grandmother died, or why they have to move to a new city in a new state, or why their parents don’t love each other anymore, or why their dad lost his job, or why their mother decided to bring a new baby home, or why they can’t take a cool vacation four times a year, or ___________ (fill in the blank). You and I have the opportunity to point children to the only One they can truly trust and depend on—our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
God, through His Son Jesus, is our Savior, Protector, and Creator. You and I know that adversity strengthens us spiritually; however, kids don’t understand this truth. Nonetheless, we can point children to Jesus, the source of our hope and strength.
Landry Holmes leads Lifeway’s Kids Ministry Publishing Team and is a KidMin volunteer at his church. He is a husband, dad, father-in-law, and dog person.