Kids Say: What does it mean “to believe”?

A couple of Sundays ago, our church held a dedication service for a missionary we were sending to China.

In the midst of the service, DD suddenly turned round to me and asked, “Mummy, what is to believe?”

Completely taken by surprise and my mind constrained by the context of the moment, I racked my brains for the best answer I could muster, and stuttered something to the manner of “to believe…is to place your trust, to put your life in God’s hands.”

It clearly was not a very comprehensive answer. But that isn’t quite the point I’m trying to get to.  🙂

Her question had struck me on several levels.

Firstly, that as a parent, I really have to start getting my act together in being prepared at all times to provide a thoughtful, well-researched and Biblically grounded response to those tough questions of life that I will be getting more of as she grows older.

Secondly, opportunities like these come, and go. If I do not take hold of that teachable moment and make the most of it right there and then, it will flit away and the next time when I’ve gone and done my research and am finally feeling prepared enough to revisit it, my child may have forgotten the question altogether.

And finally, my own response hit home. Very. hard.

I thought about how here I am, telling my almost-four-year-old that to believe in God is to place her life in His hands, and expecting her to commit it to heart; when right that very week, I had been guilty multiple times of losing sight of God’s sovereignty and venting my frustration at events which were obviously out of my control.

“Do you believe me?”, I hear God’ s still small voice gently but firmly reminding me with a smile.

How indeed, could I teach her what it means to believe, unless I first comprehend and exercise fully the implication of what it means when I say I believe.

Yes Lord, I do believe.  I will believe.

1 Peter 3:15 – “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have…”

John 3:16 – “…that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”


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