Little Children

Friday, October 11, 2002

Psalm 121:5-8 – The Lord watches over you — the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm — he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. (NIV)

At church the other day, we had to squeeze in a few rows from the back behind a parent and two children. The youngest, a pre-school boy, was rather boisterous and demanding of the mother's attention, in contrast to the older, well-behaved sister. Mum did her best to tolerate this child's ceaseless movement. He repeatedly banged his head on her arm, sprawled over her lap with his head facing upwards, as if swimming the backstroke, and then asked for treats. These he scrunched up with glee.

Eventually he escaped her gentle, if rather tired, grasp, to move a few rows in front to sit on a seat where another small child was snuggled up with her mum. She, in response to this interloper, ignored the distraction and moved to the window radiator that was not in use. Realizing there was no fellow spirit here, he relented, and, bored, returned to his mum.

From time to time, the boy looked at me, whilst I, in return, feigned indifference to his antics. This service did not suit young children because of the amount of talking going on, which was too much for such small pent-up sparks of life like him. Glee sparkled through his eyes; he knew that he was loved and that his mum watched over him. He knew how to press her buttons, and she undoubtedly had a few choice words to share with him later!

I prayed that the mother would be at peace.

When I prayed for grace for the mother, I became aware that the way this little boy behaved must often be like how we act in relationship with the Father. It seems that we often try His patience, poking, prodding, and rushing off. We praise God for His forbearance and grace! We are glad that He still watches over us.

Prayer: Lord, we thank You for Your forbearance and Your patience with our childish antics, as we attempt to get our own way, or get Your attention for our concerns. We are glad that we always have Your attention wherever we are, and that whatever we do, You, at least, are faithful and just. Speak Your healing balm into our lives today by Your Holy Spirit and Your living Word. Re-kindle a right spirit in us, and keep us close by Your side today. In the name of Jesus. Amen.

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Rod Marshall <>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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