Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Confused (08/16/07)
By Rachel Burkum
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“What is it?” I leaned over on the couch to see what she was looking at. Her Bible was spread out before her, but not to the passage she was supposed to memorize for Sunday School. “Where are you reading?”
Katie ran her fingers along the small print. “These verses don’t make any sense.”
“Oh?” I leaned in closer.
“It’s right here.” She pointed to a section in Matthew. “It’s after Jesus was praying in the garden of Gethse…Geth…Gethsemane?”
I nodded at the correct pronunciation. “Right.”
“Then Judas came.”
Katie scrunched up her nose. “How come Jesus let those people take Him away? He didn’t do anything wrong, did He?”
“No…He didn’t.” I sighed and straightened up, wondering how on earth to explain. “Some people didn’t like Him. They didn’t understand who He really was.”
“But…” Katie looked back at her Bible, trying to wrap her ten-year-old mind around what she’d been reading. “Why didn’t He fight? Or make them understand?”
“Well, it wasn’t part of God’s plan.”
“But…why? After this, Jesus was put on a cross.”
I tried to pull all of the pieces together to create something my daughter could understand. “Jesus loved us…that’s why He allowed himself to die on the cross.”
Katie frowned as she mulled over the concept. “Aren’t we all bad?”
“Bad?” The question surprised me.
“I mean…we all sin, right?”
I nodded, though trying to figure out what she was getting at. “That’s right.”
“And sin is doing what God doesn’t want us to do.”
“So none of us are really doing what God does want us to do.”
It took me a second, but I had to agree. “We do a lot of things He wants us to do, but no one is perfect.”
Katie looked back at her Bible. “Did Jesus die because we all sin?”
Again, I wondered where her mind was going. “In essence, yes. He took all our sin on himself and died as a sacrifice so we wouldn’t have to.”
“Oh.” Katie sat in silence for several moments. “If I sin…and I do the things that God doesn’t want me to do…then why would Jesus love me enough to want to die instead of me?”
Katie’s mind may have only been able to hold ten years worth of information, but her question drove through me like a sharpened spike. Jesus’ love was something I took for granted every day. I never questioned it. I simply accepted it and received the free gift. But…why did Jesus love me so much?
If anyone knew about stumbling day after day into the trap of sin…if anyone should have died on that cross instead of Jesus, it was me. And yet…He had still made the choice to intercede and save my life. “Why would Jesus love me enough to want to die instead of me?” I didn’t have an answer.
I reached out to pull Katie close. “I don’t know. No one deserves God’s love. He offers it anyway, though, hoping we’ll accept it.”
“I wish I knew. Some things we just can’t understand. God can forgive us and love us more than anyone else.”
Katie’s eyes widened as a new thought seemed to strike. “So that’s what grace is.”
I couldn’t help the chuckle that escaped my lips. How many adults had argued over the concept of grace? And yet, here was a child, able to grasp the most precious gift. “Yes, Katie. That’s what grace is.”
I frowned at her solemn tone. “What?”
“Well, if God loves us that much, then why doesn’t everyone want to love Him back?”
“Sometimes people just have a hard time doing that.”
I shook my head sadly. “Some people don’t really understand about God. Some people don’t know Jesus loves them.”
Katie looked almost shocked. “But…why?”
“I guess because no one has told them.”
My daughter pondered our conversation for a long while before she finally turned to look at my face. “Then I guess it’s our job to tell them, isn’t it?”
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