Childlike Faith and Hope
My name’s Melissa. I’m six. Every night I go to bed at seven o’clock. My two big sisters get to stay up ‘till eight.
Sometimes I just lay there. I can’t sleep! I think about things – mostly what I want to be when I grow up. I want my own horse. I want to dance like the Sugar Plum Fairy.
On Wednesday nights I listen to my parents’ small group from church. They start coming right after I go to bed, and I open my door a crack. Mr. Arnett, he has this laugh – it sounds like Santa Claus! Mrs. Arnett sounds real gentle-like when she talks. Mr. Young and Mrs. Young, they ask lots of questions. Mr. Smith, his voice is serious, and Mrs. Smith lets him do most of the talking. Mr. Tudor sounds like that man on the TV commercial who sells cars. Mrs. Tudor talks like my grandma. Then Mom and Dad – well, they just sound normal.
Everybody’s noisy when they first come. That’s when they all get coffee and cookies. But then my dad prays. That’s when they sit down and open their books.
My bedroom is next to the living room. If I listen hard, I can hear pages – sort of like when you rake leaves in the fall. I asked my parents about that. They call it “cross-referencing.” That’s when you look up something in the Bible in lots of places.
They’ve been studying about faith and hope. Last time it was pretty serious.
“Faith is knowing for sure that what we hope for will happen – that’s in Hebrews 11:1, ” said Mr. Smith. He sounded like my dad when he’s not in the mood to mess around.
“But what does that mean, exactly?” It was Mrs. Young. “How can you be sure of something if you can’t see it?”
“You just know … ya know … because God knows.” That was Mr. Arnett. I wondered if he was trying to be funny. “See – look at 10:23 in Hebrews.”
Mrs. Tudor read that verse. “Let us hold unswervingly to the HOPE we profess, for he who promised is FAITHFUL.”
Someone’s pages flip-flip-flipped. “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope, Romans 15:4.” That was Mr. Smith.
Then it got really quiet.
I heard more pages flipping. Then I heard my dad. “That endurance part – that’s over in Romans 5, I think. It says there’s a chain of events: suffering produces patience, patience produces experience, and experience produces hope.”
That night I pulled the sheet up under my nose – I like to do that – and wondered why grown-ups make things so hard? My Sunday School teacher said we don’t have to understand everything, just trust God. He doesn’t make mistakes. He doesn’t break His promises. He ALWAYS does the right thing. I think we’re just supposed to believe that! I wonder if that’s what they think when they talk about faith and hope?
Tonight the group comes back. They’ll probably find new verses. I think they just need to be more like kids. There’s something about being like a child in Matthew somewhere. Maybe they’ll find it.
Tomorrow I get the leftover cookies … !
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