Do Not Be Discouraged! – Part III

Part III of this blog is meant to specifically encourage those of you who are ministry leaders for kids.  Sometimes after a Sunday morning, I feel harried like I went through a whirlwind and wonder what just happened here.  Did anything that happened this morning make an impact on anyone? Recently, I asked a leader who had been off a few weeks and stepped back in to teach, how the morning went.  She proceeded to say that “Wow, how the boy dynamic has changed” in our little group.   Having taught the previously block of lessons to the same group, I knew exactly what she meant –these kids tended to be squirrely, in each other’s personal space, and at times downright obnoxious.  Many times it seemed like I wasn't getting through to them.  My husband and son happened to be in the room with her that morning as she led the kids.   At lunch I asked how the Remember and Celebrate morning went.  My son said it was “good” (more than 1 word would be revealing way too much!)   When I asked my husband if they played the review game, he said yes.   When I asked him if they knew the answers, he said, “Oh yeah, they knew every one of them!”   Okay so maybe they were paying attention.

This story from really encouraged me and I’d like to share it with you:

“Do you want to see my treasure?”

God’s grand story had been shared. And the children had moved to tables around the room to create treasure boxes. Each set of hands carefully selected colored jewels and tape to decorate the tops and sides of the wooden boxes. When the final jewels were put into place the children began grabbing up all the extra items stuffing them into their boxes as their greatest treasures.

Treasure boxes filling up with plastic jewels acting as fillers, replacing things absent in these children’s lives: siblings, moms, dads, friends, homes, and love. They grabbed up everything in their reach as if they were able to fill the deep cracks that required more than pretty tape and sparkles.

All but one, girl.

The box fully sparkling and decorated the girl closed the lid waiting patiently. An adult sitting nearby watching the other children greedily filling their boxes asked the young girl, “Don’t you want to fill your box with treasures?” Pulling the box closer to her she said it was already filled with treasure. Then in a hushed whisper she asked the woman,

“Would you like to see what is inside?”

More than curious as she had not seen the young girl place one item in the box the woman responded, “Yes.” Slowly the young girl raised the lid and both heads peered over the edge into the box to see what was inside. A simple piece of paper with a word scrawled in purple marker was lying in the bottom.  A backwards “J” followed with “e-s-e-s”.

Can you imagine the leader’s surprise!  The one child she thought wasn't engaging and probably didn't understand was the one who “got it”.   We can never underestimate what God is doing in the hearts and minds of those around us.   All we can do is make ourselves available for Him to use.

Written by Darla Bair