We were reading the story of Jesus in the wilderness. I had each of the kids bring in rocks to help create a wilderness scene. Then we read that the tempter came to Jesus and offered Him an idea. “How about You turn these stones into bread?” Jesus’ response to this temptation drew us all in. “It is written, man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God!”
We stopped right there. What is God trying to say to us? What does He mean that we live on the words that come from His mouth?
We sat there quietly, altogether, listening for Jesus to talk to us.
“Mrs Jocelyn. I saw these different kinds of candies being packaged together. And there was this girl. And when the package was given to her she was so happy. She opened her arms and took it with so much joy. Dancing around and stuff.”
“Yes!” I responded. “We receive God’s words with joy! That is good heart soil for His words to grow in! We want His words to grow strong in us so we receive them with joy!”
“I saw a water hose.” another little one said. This dear one was unsure that what she saw was God speaking to her, but her brave heart offered it anyway.
We all began to join this heart, confident that God was talking to her. Excited to explore His heart in it. “What do you think of when you think of a water hose?” I asked.
As she began to describe the water and her playing in it and washing things and watering things with it, the Holy Spirit began to give me clarity.
“Oh my yes!” I said. “Do you know there is a verse in the New Testament that says that our minds and our thoughts are washed by God’s words?! We want to have His thoughts and words about us and others. We let His words wash us to think like Him! And God’s words do also water the seeds He plants in our hearts so they can grow strong! I really can hear God’s voice in you!”
Then they all began to share, more than I can even remember.
“So what are God’s words to us?” I asked.
All kinds of answers began to bubble up in them, but this one dear little boy raised his hand. He was sitting so quietly and calmly among the others whose little antsy legs could barely stay seated. “When God tells me to do something” He pointed to his core. “I listen and I do it.”
Everything grew quiet. Not nearly so much because of the words he said, but because of the spirit of his relationship and his heart with Jesus. It was pouring out of him. So pure, so gentle, and so rooted. He knows Jesus. He knows His voice. And the depth of this child’s trust of the Lord just about brought me to tears.
I replied softly, honoring this heart so weighty, so holy. “Yes. When God talks to our hearts, when we feel Him deep in our belly, asking us to do something, we listen. This is so important. To always listen to His voice.”
We opened our arms and asked Jesus to help us to always take time to listen, and to help us do what He says to us. You could feel the presence of the Father so strong in these moments. It was precious and real.
Then, I began to step a little further into my heart for them.
“Do you guys remember what John said? ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God’. Jesus IS God’s words to us!”
“And how about the Bible? Do you think the Bible has words from God in it for us? Absolutely yes, it does.”
Next question, everyone tracking together.
“So what happens when you encounter someone who makes fun of you? Or a bully says something mean to you?” Do you feast on the mean words the bully says?”
“No!” They all replied.
“Right. Instead of churning those words over inside us, we want to feast on what God says about us. And even about the bully. God loves us ALL!! We live on HIS words to us and about us.”
“What about on the playground when all our friends leave us? What are God’s words that we hold to and feast on when that happens and we feel alone? Or what about when we feel afraid?”
One raises her hand “God never leaves me. He is always with me.” Oh it was not just a Scripture or a memory verse to her. It was something she knew of Him because He was with her. She has felt this way before and knew God’s presence with her right there in that moment.
As I then glanced around our circle of kids, one little boy was drawing on a piece of paper “God is brave”. I leaned over and whispered to him “Yes! God is brave! And He lives in you so YOU are brave too, aren’t you.” He looked right in my eyes with a deep grin and nodded yes.
And there we were, we were turning rocks into bread, not into fleshy bread to eat, but choosing God’s words and thoughts to be the bread that we live on.
Father, may these children forever choose to live by Your Spirit. May they cling to and feast on every word that comes from Your mouth. Thank You for being so present with them… their beautiful hearts, Father. How deep You love them.