Its not fair!

Last evening at church one little girl would not obey me.  I gave her several warnings which she disregarded, and then I took her into the sanctuary for a time out.  This did not go any better than my warnings.  As soon as I sat her down she bolted out of her chair and took off running.  So there I was, chasing down a 6 year old.  I finally caught her and tried again, except this time I held her.  It took a while but she finally calmed down and did her time out.  Afterward, I talked to her about it.  We talked about how important it is to listen to adults, and how much more fun it is to make good choices than to be in time out for making bad ones.  The whole time she sat there with her head down and bottom lip out.  She finally said, “I try to be good but I just can’t!”  It was a little hard not to laugh, but I knew she was telling the truth; she really feels like she can’t be good.  So I asked her if she ever prays to God about it, and I told her that he could help her be good even when its hard.  She turned her face to me and said very sincerely, “I pray but I can’t hear him.”  I can tell you that I was not expecting this answer!  “But he can hear you!” I responded. When a child says something like this, only God can give you the words to say, and I trust that he gave me the right things to tell her.  Nevertheless, it was so difficult to explain to a little child that God does speak to us in all kinds of ways.  Through his bible verses, our church teachers, our feelings, and yes, sometimes we can even hear his voice.  I asked her if she wanted to pray and she did.  We bowed our heads and she prayed first and then I prayed for her next.  Afterward, she still looked so sad.  I asked her what was wrong and she said, “Its not fair!  He can hear us, but we can’t hear him! Its not fair.”  I didn’t know what to do besides hug her and tell her differently.  I pray that it was the right thing and that she knows that she can hear God if she listens carefully.

In the end, the whole encounter really made me think.  Had my little brother, or a child from my church back home said this, it would have been a cute and funny story to tell on a Sunday morning, because we would know that the child would learn differently as they grew.  The problem is that this little girl is not growing up in a home where she will learn that God really does speak to her, and she really can hear him.  This church and we volunteers are the only opportunity she has to learn that.  I pray that God will speak to her in a way that she can hear and understand so that her young faith can be strengthened.  Please pray for her too!

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