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Saturday, November 27, 2010

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken, Psalm 17:22

The other day Bro. Russ Lawson and I were exchanging e-mails about things said by children that were both humorous and profound at the same time. Funny and yet great lessons seen in their statements. Perhaps I should say, their way of seeing things. Since those e-mails I've been thinking about this lesson so I'm going to try and use "children" and their views and ways of assessing things to teach us "old folks" some, what I hope turns out to be, valuable lessons.

Yes, I feel that humor and laughter is good for us, not only health-wise, as Solomon says, but also soul-wise. And, in my humble opinion, children are masters at saying things that are humorous, that make us laugh, but also make us think. The reason that I feel they are "masters" at this is because they do it so innocently. They are just inherently honest (sometimes brutally so) in their statements or questions.

And that's because they haven't acquired "grown-up" tendencies like "guile" yet. They don't have any "malice" (evil intent) in their hearts. Those detrimental things of man have to be learned simply because they haven't lived long enough to acquire them. With their guileless ways, and with their humor, they can teach us great lessons. Let me provide you with some of these and see if you don't agree.

A little girl was sitting on her father's lap looking at a mirror. She asked, "Daddy, did God make you?" "Certainly, my dear," said her father. "And did He make me, too?" she asked. He answered, "Certainly, my dear, what makes you ask?" "Well," she answered, "it seems to me He's doing much better work lately."

Another little girl came home from Church and her sick mother asked her how the service went and what the lesson was about. The little girl replied, "Don't be scared, you'll get your quilt." Perplexed, the mother called the preacher, told him what her daughter had said and asked him what she meant. The preacher said that his lesson was entitled: "Be not afraid, thy comforter is coming."

I've got to be politically correct and not just cite "girls" so here's a couple from little boys. Little James was listening to his Sunday school teacher read them the story of Lot and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and read the part where Lot was warned to take his wife and flee out of the city, but his wife looked back and turned to salt. The little boy raised his hand and asked, "What happened to the flea?"

One little boy was visiting at his grandmother's house and was looking through the big family Bible on the coffee table when something fell out of it onto the floor. He picked it up and saw that it was an old leaf. "Grandma, look what I found," he called out. "What have you got there, dear?" she replied. With great wonder in his voice, he answered, "I think it's Adam's underwear."

Now I've got to revert to some personal experiences for more lessons delivered by children. In telling this one I have to admit to you that I hate going to the dentist, but several years ago I had to knuckle-down, buckle-down and go have a tooth problem taken care of. This was one of those clinics where patients are worked on in little open cubicles. You know the type.

Well, I was seated in my torture chamber and had gotten my "needle" when here came two little girls about 6 years old and their mother. They put one of the girls in the chair next to mine and the other girl a few cubicles away. The mother kept moving back and forth between her two daughters, trying to keep them calm and unafraid. She probably should have concentrated on me because the two little girls were doing just fine. I was the nervous wreck.

About the time she was to get her "needle" I turned towards the one next to me with the idea of maybe reassuring her that it would be alright, but I think she realized that I was the one needing the reassurance because she looked over at me, smiled the brightest smile anyone ever saw and waved to me. But it was her sister that provided the real strength and assurance.

Just about the time the dentist was ready to start drilling on me, from the cubicle down the way came the voice of the little girl singing, "Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world..." For a moment you could hear a pin drop. You could hear sighs coming from other cubicles and then one of the assistants started singing with her. I don't possess the words nor the ability to adequately describe the feeling and the atmosphere that came over that whole clinic right then. I thought of the words of David, repeated by Christ in Matt. 21:16, "...out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou has perfected praise." And I remembered the words of Isaiah, "...and a little child shall lead them." (Isa. 11:6)

Mary Howitt, an English author, penned these words about children and I'd like to share them with you here. "God sends children for another purpose than merely to keep up the race - to enlarge our hearts; and to make us unselfish; and full of kindly sympathies and affections; to give our souls higher aims; to call out all our faculties to extended enterprise and exertion; and to bring round our firesides bright faces, happy smiles and loving, tender hearts. My soul blesses the great Father, every day, that He has gladdened the earth with little children." AMEN!

A preacher and his family were once traveling in route to another town where he was to preach in a Gospel meeting. He hadn't told his children exactly where they were headed so, after some time on the road, his six-year old daughter asked him a question and it's in this question that we find one of our closing thoughts. She asked, "Dad, when we get to where we're going, where will we be?"

The other portion of our close is a phone conversation I once had with my 3 ½ year old granddaughter. She was very upset because her "baby rabbits" had died. They were really just wild rabbits that lived in a hole in their back yard, but she considered them "hers." Her dad had buried them and her mother (my daughter) had told her that they had "gone to heaven." With all the innocence to be found in the thinking of children, she asked me, "But Papa, how can they go to heaven when they don't know the way?

I don't think that I need to elaborate or speak any further to those two last questions. I think that you can fill in the answers to them. I will say this though, isn't it a great lesson seen in the question of "...when we get there (our final and eternal destination) where will we be?" And, if we want that destination to be "heaven," then we had better "know the way."

Ron Covey





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