It was a Sunday morning and I had a lesson planned, but I felt Holy Spirit urging me to share a story about my week. I decided I would share that first, and then go into the lesson later.
I began to open up my heart and share with all of our kids. The story was about how I had been driving my girls somewhere earlier that week when suddenly, a guy stumbled out into the road right in front of me.
“I slammed on my breaks, worried I might not get stopped quick enough. The guy began acting like I was trying to hit him with my car. He started yelling awful, mean things and flailing his arms at me. He was so angry, and it felt like he was looking for a fight with me, accusing me uncontrollably!”
I continued to tell the children “I was afraid because it felt like that guy wanted to hurt me. But then I found myself tempted to react by returning his crazy, unfounded anger right back to him with a little ‘road rage’ revenge. You know, spin those wheels or something” I said.
“My adrenaline was pumping. That’s the body’s natural response when you have to slam on your breaks, fearful you may hurt someone. Adrenaline. But then, being yelled at and accused in those moments made a hard situation even harder.
“But in the middle of feeling all of those emotions, all at once, going around inside of me, I chose to remain quiet and calm. I took in a deep breath, intentionally breathing in the breath of Jesus who is peace to the core of my being, and I began to pray for that guy. I began to bless him. My heart began to hurt for him to the point of tears, because I started feeling the compassion of Jesus for whoever that guy was, and for his heart” I shared. “I asked the girls to join me in praying. I asked them to ask Jesus how we could best pray for that dear man. That his heart would soften and be loved and healed.”
As I was sharing this very real and fresh experience from my life with Jesus, a little boy in our class looked up into my eyes. Oh his eyes were longing. I could feel his heart. You see, he struggles with anger. He raised his hand to speak ever so sincerely “I… I don’t know if I could do that Miss Jocelyn. I think my anger would have gotten the best of me.”
The whole room became silent because this boy had opened his heart so honestly and purely to us all. It was so holy. The presence of the Lord became so thick among us. I didn’t want to move. I just wanted the Lord to minister deeply to this dear boy, his eyes so hungry for Jesus to come into this place where he feels victim to his own anger and rage. His heart wanted to be free.
Slowly and softly we began to speak to this boy’s heart. “We have all felt anger. We have all even had times where we did not know what to do with it or how to handle it right. But Jesus… Jesus. He is the One who puts peace in our hearts when we feel anger rising up within us.”
We took a few minutes to imagine Jesus’ face right in front of ours, and we breathed Him all the way down into our tummies. He heals us. He settles our hearts in His strength and love… love that is patient and kind and enduring. He is the breath of peace that can calm the storm inside of us so that we can take a few minutes and then respond by His life and Spirit inside of us.
That day is still so sweet in my spirit. The children began to quietly and gently gather round this boy, and they prayed over his precious, sincere heart.
I share this story to encourage you to share your story. Share your real life Jesus moments with children. We were able to go into a place, into the center of a child’s heart, because I was willing to share my story when I felt the Lord prompting me to.
And when that heart opens, you simply put everything down for a few moments, and be present. Allow Jesus to minister to deep places in children.
It is not something you can plan for, and it doesn’t have to be perfect. When you have a group of kids that are hungry for lunch and have to go to the bathroom, or are anxious for snack time, it will rarely be perfect. But the moments and ministry in those places, regardless of how imperfect it may feel, those moments are holy and rested because it is according to His Spirit. He is in no rush to finish a Sunday School lesson right then. His whole heart simply longs to be with each one in the deeper places of their hearts. To be healing and deliverance, freedom and hope. May we be like Him.