COVID19 Lighthouse Kids
March 13, 2020 – An update from Pastor Wayne
Hi Children’s Ministry Volunteers & Parents!
At least two to three times this past week, my oldest child stopped to ask me, “Have they found a cure for the coronavirus?” Questions and thoughts like these reveal that this is not just a scary time for adults but also for children. Their schools are closing, their sports games are being canceled, and their parents are hoarding everything from toilet paper and water to ramen. The fact is that our kids hear what we are talking about and they might worry more than they let us know.
As a parent of three young kids, I know my primary response to all of this has been to think about how to minimize the chances of them getting sick – “Wash your hands! Stay away from anyone who has a cough! For the millionth time, stop touching your face!” A good question we must ask as Christian parents, however, is – How can we not just protect our children from physical sickness but also shepherd our children’s hearts during these uncertain times? How can we steward this season of anxiety and constant change to grow their faith in God?
Here are three ways that you can encourage your child’s heart and point them to God today:
1. “Tell God how you feel.” God wants us to talk to Him. 1 Peter 5:7 encourages us to “cast our cares upon Him.” We can talk to God through prayer and share what is on our hearts. Whether we are sad or happy or afraid or angry, God wants us to share these emotions and feelings with Him. Nothing is too small or too big to talk to God about in prayer. So when we are scared or anxious, God doesn’t want us to bottle up all of our worries in our heart, He wants us to talk to Him about it. And even if we don’t know all the words to say, the Holy Spirit listens to our hearts and helps us to pray to the Father.
2. “Trust that God is in control.” Even when things seem out of control, God is always in control. In the words of Joseph to his brothers in Genesis 50:20, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.” God is always working out His design and purpose for His glory and for our good. Instead of only looking at our situation with our own eyes and our own limited minds, we need to look upwards and include God in the picture. When bad things happen, God is not just waiting around and watching as it unfolds, but He is actively working and involved in all of life all around the world. God has a reason and purpose for everything, even sickness and suffering. To grow in our trust in God, we need to have God’s perspective for our lives and for this world.
3. “God is still the same.” Hebrews 13:8 says that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Even though everything about this world seems to have changed, we can be comforted by the fact that nothing has changed with God. Our God has always been and always will be a God who is good, wise, and powerful. In times of pain and sadness, we can easily lose sight of God or think that God has forgotten us or does not care about us. We must remember that God’s love for us remains the same and that there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:38). Our God is not a distant God far, far away, but a personal God who is near and close to us and loves us deeply.
As you take time to talk to your child about the coronavirus, I encourage you to pray together with your child. Using the words of the psalmist, we can say “when I am afraid, I put my trust in you” (Ps 56:3), and “in peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety” (Ps 4:8). As we tell God how we feel, trust that He is in control, and remember that He never changes, we can place ourselves and our children in the pathways of grace by fixing our eyes on Jesus, our Great Shepherd.
In the coming days and weeks we will be providing resources and videos on our Lighthouse website including videos for our children’s Sunday school lessons and family devotionals that will go along with daily devotionals for adults. Make sure to check in regularly for updates!