How do we lead our kids through this pandemic? With conversations around FTL.
Fear. Trust. Love.
We’ve already had a brief look at fear. Let’s move onto trust.
Whatever you or your kids might be feeling during this time of uncertainty, there is something that remains sure. Something that doesn’t change. And that is God. He remains true and steadfast and as reliable as ever! I love how the Bible describes God as a rock.
The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:2
What that means, is that no matter what storm comes, this rock stands firm. God our rock cannot be shaken. And when the Bible speaks of God being our rock, it is so often accompanied by him being our shelter, our refuge. You see, what our kids can feel in times of uncertainty – what we can feel in times of uncertainty – is that things are out of control. Things are so bad, that it feels as though God has taken his hands off the reigns. Or he doesn’t care. Psalm 13 picks this up profoundly (check it out!).
So what do we do in these moments we are feeling unsure? Well firstly, it is totally fine to voice our concern to God. Did you read Psalm 13? It gets pretty intense! But then, as at the end of that Psalm, we ought to maintain our trust in God. He is still the rock, when the storm is raging.
Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD is the Rock eternal. Isaiah 26:4
This isn’t the first time when things seemed out of control. Remember when there was that hectic storm and his disciples were freaking out? Things seemed out of control. And Jesus was like, “Come on guys! I’m upholding the universe right now. Dyou really think things are out of control?”
Remember that time when Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego got thrown into a blazing furnace so hot that it melted the faces of the dudes throwing them in there? Things seemed out of control.
Remember that time that Pharoah kept hardening his heart and making things worse and worse for the Israelites? Things seemed out of control.
Remember that time that Jospeh’s brothers pretended he was dead, sold him into slavery. Remember how he held his integrity but got accused of certain untoward behaviour and got thrown in prison? Remember how he was forgotten about in prison by the cupbearer, meaning he spent a solid 12 years behind bars as an innocent man? Things seemed out of control. And yet God remains the Rock. Check out these epic words that Jospeh says to his bros when they’re freaking out he’s gonna turn on them.
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. Genesis 50:20
Or remember when the man Jesus died? When God came in the flesh, only to have that flesh destroyed? When the Author of life was killed? Things seemed pretty out of control then! But listen to Peter:
This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. Acts 2:23
God was in control the whole time! God has always been in control. And God is in control now. Nothing happens apart from his good will. That means that COVID-19 is part of his good will. And that means, that if you truly believe in the goodness of God, whatever uncertainty and pain there might be in this time (or any other time in life), running to God – the rock – is always the answer.
Talking to your kids
The most simple way to talk to your kids about this is to show them how God is the rock. Tell them story after story where it seemed like things were out of control, and yet God showed himself sovereign. The Bible is full of them. Pretty much pick any story you want and talk about it through that lens. This will grow in your kids a trust in the goodness and faithfulness of God, so that whatever storms come into their lives (and storms will come!) they won’t run anywhere else.
Why not have some fun building different kinds of shelters to see how strong they are? Compare them to a shelter of rock. Or compare the strength of different objects to rock. (Maybe don’t choose diamond or something that strong…)
But let’s use this opportunity to build our kids’ trust in the LORD who is the rock eternal!