Helping children learn about God's care
The kids had read the 91st Psalm in the Bible and were talking about their favorite parts. This psalm uses different word pictures to tell about how God takes care of us.
In one place, the psalm says that we're always under the shadow of God. That's being right with Him. Several kids liked that. Here are other things they liked: how it says that God is like a fortress, a strong, safe place for us; and that God is like a caring mother bird, and Her strong wings and soft feathers always shelter us; and that God is with us always, so we're protected during both the day and night. Someone also liked the part that says we can call on God and He will hear us and protect us. The kids said these verses made them feel safe because they know God is with them and they are with God.
The psalm starts out saying that we're in the "secret place" of God. The kids know this isn't a place you can find on the map. But it's where God is, so there isn't anything evil there. We're always in the middle of that secret place, because we are always with God.
One part of the psalm tells how God directs His angels to take care of us. We talked about how God comes to our thinking and tells us what to do and where to go and how to help others. The angels also show us what is true.
There's a Bible story that's a good example of this. A man named Elijah was surrounded by enemy troops. He wasn't afraid, because he knew God was more powerful than all those soldiers and horses and chariots. But Elijah's servant was so afraid. Elijah prayed that God would show his servant that He was really there. God showed the servant what was true, how He was right there protecting them both. Then the servant wasn't afraid. And Elijah and his servant were safe. God is also telling us how He is right here and that we are safe.
We all agreed that we can trust God, because He is our Father-Mother and we are always with Him. We are His children. They know there is no evil where God is. Someone said that God is faithful to us. We can trust God.
Then Judy asked, "How can we love our enemies?" That was an important question. And a tough one. Jesus said we should do good to those who hate us, and pray for them who harm us (see Matt. 5:44). The kids decided we could love others the way God does. He always knows us the way He made us - perfect, good, spiritual. A person hating and harming anyone is like someone wearing a really awful Halloween costume. It covers the real person. But we can love the person we know is behind the mask, God's child.
Then another important question followed: "Why should we love our enemies?" Because our love will help them to change, help them to take off the awful costume and see themselves just the way God made them.
After a bit, the kids talked about why they are grateful. They are grateful because they are safe and their families are OK. And they are grateful because they feel safe. They decided that God was Father-Mother to everyone. So that what is true about God's loving and protecting us, is true for every person everywhere in the whole world. That's something to be really grateful for.
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday....
Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
Psalms 91: 1-6, 9-11