Sunday, March 22, 2009

For Kids…and Grown-Ups, Too

This is an unexpected entry for me to post.  After some recent housecleaning, I stumbled across something that I wrote a few years ago for my children. I had intended it to become a series, but somehow it got sidelined after only two installments. I figured I might as well share them here (Part 1 today, Part 2 tomorrow). They are written for children, complete with "Thought Questions" at the end. I hope those of you who have young children or know some will consider reading these to them.

(Like everything posted here, these are covered by an "Attribution License," which means you are free to reproduce and distribute them as long as you give proper credit to the author.)

If you don't have children in your life to share these with, I hope you'll read them anyway. The truths written here are important for grown-ups, too!

I originally titled this, "Kids' Book of God's Glory."

"Maine Vacation 4" by Hortongrou

Chapter 1

Christmas Day: “Wow, this is awesome! This is the most exciting toy I’ve ever had! I just can’t get enough of it!”

Two days later: “Mom, I’m bored. There’s nothing to do.”

Why did the fun go out of the “most exciting toy?” What went wrong?

You might be surprised to know that nothing went wrong with the toy, or the book, or the special place that once charmed your soul. I say nothing went wrong, because it was wrong all along.

Now, don’t misunderstand me. Toys aren’t bad things. Neither are good books, or special places, or any of the things that God gave you to enjoy. It’s just that they can’t stay exciting forever, because they aren’t supposed to. God didn’t design them that way.

More importantly, God didn’t design you that way.

That’s important, so let me say it again. God didn’t design anything in this world to satisfy you forever. More importantly, He didn’t design you to be satisfied with any thing forever.

Was He being mean about that?

Let me tell you a story.

Back in eternity past, before God invented time, people did not yet exist (except as an idea in God’s mind). God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit existed forever, one God in three Persons.1 Do you wonder what it was like back then? God hasn’t told us much about that yet, though I imagine He will someday when we’re in Heaven. But we can be sure of one thing.

God’s glory filled everything. 2

What is glory? It is the wonderful, awesome, beautiful, eternal, holy, perfection of God showing itself to others. Sometimes we describe it as “light,” but of course it’s much more than that. We don’t even have words that can describe what God’s glory is. But we can try to imagine something about it.

Imagine something better than anything you’ve ever experienced. Now make it even better. Imagine something more wonderful than you have ever dreamed of before. Something more wonderful than you’re even imagining right now. Now take it up a notch. God says that no human is even able to imagine the wonderful things he wants to give us. 3 No matter how awesome a thing can feel in your imagination, God’s glory is even better.

Now, back to the story. Before man was created, God’s glory filled everything. Angels stood in the glow of that glory, and they were so awestruck and amazed that they couldn’t stop praising God, and they wanted nothing more than to enjoy His glory forever.

God wanted more and more creatures (created things) to be able to enjoy His glory. So He created humans. He gave us the most wonderful privilege any creature can have: the privilege of enjoying Him forever. 4

Imagine that! Imagine if Mom or Dad could give you something and guarantee that you could enjoy it forever. What would that thing be like?

-It would last forever and could never be broken

-It would never become boring, so you could never get tired of it

-It could never get lost

-It could never be stolen

-Its beauty and joy and wonder would belong to you forever!

Why can’t Mom and Dad give you something like that? Because there is nothing like that…nothing except God Himself.

God created us to enjoy Him, and that was the greatest gift He could have given us. He lasts forever, and can never be broken. He never becomes boring, so you could never get tired of Him. He can never get lost or be stolen. His beauty and joy and wonder can belong to you forever!

Let me ask you a silly question. Can a bathtub be filled up by just a teaspoon of water? Can a hungry person be filled with just a single crumb of food?

Of course not. Bathtubs were created to hold gallons of water. Stomachs were created to hold enough food to fuel our bodies for hours.

Can your hungry soul be filled by toys, or books, or special places, or computer games, or things of any kind?

Of course not. Your soul was created to be satisfied by the wonderful, awesome, beautiful, eternal, holy, perfection of God.5 You weren’t designed to settle for less.

We’ll continue with the story tomorrow.

Thought Questions:

-What is the greatest gift God could ever give me?

-Why won’t I always be happy with my toys or with anything else I own?

-What was I created to do?

Bible Verses:

1. John 17:5

2. Jer. 23:24 b

3. 1Cor. 2:9

4. Ps. 16:11

5. Ps. 32:11


Ed said...

Once again...clear...simple...and profound! Thanks Betsy.

Yvonne said...

Wonderful ! I'm glad you found these. Have you considered sending them somewhere? There a quite a few devotional periodicals for kids. "Keys for Kids" is a good one.

Laurie M. said...

Betsy, that is just beautiful. I, too, think you should consider publishing the completed series.

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