A Childlike Faith

The other night, we were eating dinner and listening to each other recount the day’s highs and lows in between the wind blasts outside. Suddenly, we were plunged into a shocking darkness; a tree branch down the road had knocked out power to the better part of the neighborhood. What ensued was fit for a TV sitcom. Clara immediately melted down into hysteria that the zombies were attacking our house. Matt set out to discover the extent of this shut down while I scurried through the dark collecting candles with which to light the house so that we could prove that the zombies weren’t attacking. We paused in the bustle to pray to God for the lights to come back on, but even that didn’t settle the hysteria. I was nearing a peak frustration level when I heard Joseph explaining to his sister that she needed to trust in Jesus. It went something like this, “Clara, you need to trust in Jesus. He is your friend and your protector. You just need to trust him. And I am really good at fighting, too.” He even used the special hand motions he learned in preschool to indicate “friend” and “protector.” How can you possibly stay frustrated in the face of that precious shepherding?
It has taken me a few days of processing, but I finally realized this morning that this is the kind of childlike faith Jesus talks about in the Bible, the kind that will get you into the Kingdom of God. Joseph, at 4, hasn’t had the experiences behind him to shatter faith. If the Bible says that God is our Protector, then God is our protector. Period. As we grow, we set ourselves up for disappointment because God doesn’t always answer our prayers… the way we think He should. That last part is the most important of that statement. God DOES always answer our prayers, but it may be in a way that we don’t imagine as the perfect way and it isn’t until days, months, or years later that we recognize the perfection of what really took place, if we ever have the maturity to look for it at all.
Then, there is faith in the face of all that goes wrong. Meet Patrick. Patrick is 10 years old but looks like a 6 year old for a number of reasons. He is HIV positive, has mild cerebral palsy, and is malnourished. Patrick was living in a school for handicapped children in Mambalima, Zambia, where his mother had abandoned him. Because of his “handicaps,” he was denied an education and was teased horrifically by the other children. He slept on a bed of springs with a dirty blanket because the other children had taken his mattress. They often stole or hid his clothes and his shoes. Patrick prayed frequently that God would deliver him from this situation, and, when Geoff and Nel from Mission Medic Air came to take Patrick away from the school and to enroll him in a Christian academy nearby where he would be treated with the love he deserves, he praised God for His faithfulness in answering prayers. Then, Patrick took the dirty blanket he slept with, his only possession, and handed it to another little boy at the school. He instructed the little boy to see it as a reminder that God is faithful and that He will rescue the other little boy just as He had rescued Patrick.
Ed and Wendy Bjurstrom, founders of CareNow and co-founders of Compassion Tea, met Patrick on their recent trip to Africa. They helped him celebrate his birthday and spent the day with him and three other children rescued from similar situations by Geoff and Nel of Mission Medic Air, an organization CareNow supports. Patrick, now catching up on his schooling and learning English, declared to Ed and Wendy that God had opened a door that no man can shut and all four of the children have crossed over from their previous life to a new one!
Faith in the face of all that goes wrong. Abandoned by his mother, teased by his peers, left uneducated and alone, Patrick turned to God, believed God would rescue him, had the faith to pray for it. Unfaltering, unwavering, unstoppable, that is the kind of faith that can move mountains. It’s the kind of faith I want.

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  1. Sanctity of Life « compassiontea

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