Working with kids is pretty tiring.
I’m stating the obvious, right?
Last week our church held Vacation Bible School, and I was WAY more tired each day than I should have been. One evening after a challenging day with my crew of kiddos, I was journaling and thinking about how to have a good last day with them. How could I practically show them love and patience? How could I help them have fun AND learn when all they want to do is play and not sit and listen?
Then it hit me.
These kids reminded me that I am a child of God.
Kids are notoriously impulsive, self-seeking, impatient, and stubborn.
That sounds overly harsh, but hear me out.
As I was thinking about a few of the kiddos in my group, I was reminded of their desire to be seen and known, and how this was the driving force behind many of their actions.
A few months ago, I was meeting with a student in a coffee shop. As we were reading the Bible together and sharing about our weeks, a little girl kept running back into the section of the coffee shop we were sitting in. I’m not exaggerating when I say that the little girl wouldn’t leave the room and run back to her parent until we stopped and looked at her—until we acknowledged that she was there! She did this at least five times–running back to us and staring at us until we would give her the attention she desired.
She so desperately needed to be seen and had no shame about it. It was a beautiful reminder of how we can all relate to this desire to be seen and known, and then accepted.
Zephaniah 3:17 is a great picture of this:
“The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in His love He will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”
Every child wants to be delighted in and rejoiced over. I would argue that we still have this desire in some capacity when we are no longer children—when it is no longer socially acceptable to shamelessly seek attention and affirmation.
We want desperately to be delighted in, just like a young child.
As I thought more about the kids I got to spend time with everyday at VBS, I was also reminded that I am a child of God. In a lot of ways, I really relate to the description I used earlier to describe kids: I, too, am stubborn, can be impulsive, am continually self-seeking, and impatient.
Thankfully, that’s not the end of the story.
I am also an adopted child of God (yay adoption!).
This is explained more in Galatians 4:
“But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption as sons. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.” (Galatians 4:4-7)
According to Galatians, because I have accepted Christ into my life, I am now a child of God and an heir. This language is so powerful—it paints the picture of a rags to riches story that is fully transformative.
So, yes, I bear the marks of being “childish” at times, (being SO impatient), but I am also a child of God, a daughter of the King—and THAT is what matters.
I am thankful today for the time I got to spend in Vacation Bible School (and that it’s over….) and the ways God is continually teaching me about Himself, even in unexpected ways, like 5 year olds.