A Matter of Life and Death
by Deb Hane
Three children encounter death with the power of Jesus to help them cope.
Last year Sarah hosted a Christmas Party Club for non-Christian families for the first time. Fourteen-year-old Jamid caught her attention. He was a great helper—he gathered the children, watched them to be sure they behaved well and helped give out gifts. During this time, Sarah prayed Jamid would accept Jesus as Savior and one day become her helper.
However, in May he suddenly experienced severe pain in his legs. The doctor’s diagnosis was bone cancer. In June, day camp was held at his home so Jamid could participate. As he lay on the sofa listening to the lesson, Jamid believed in Jesus as Savior. Although doctors say he will likely die from the cancer, Jamid knows he has eternal life in Jesus!
Stories like this with a terminal child hurt our hearts. We expect children will live full lives, but the reality is, life is unpredictable. We can’t guarantee anything for children, but we can introduce them to the one who can. When you teach kids how to have a relationship with God, you provide them hope for the future, whether that future is on earth or in Heaven.
Great benefits come with knowing God. Psalm 103 shares many of these benefits. Verse 2 says, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” It’s important for kids to know the benefits that come from God. Let’s consider three of these benefits.
Verse 3 tells us God forgives all your sin. When children believe in Jesus as Savior, their sins are forgiven, and they become a part of God’s forever family.
Verse 4 says God “redeems your life from the pit…” Jesus broke the power of sin and death when He died on the cross for our sins. When children believe in Jesus as Savior, they don’t have to fear death because they will have eternal life with God, in the perfect place He has prepared.
Verse 4 goes on to say that God “crowns you with steadfast love and mercy.” God cares for His children. Kids can know they are loved by God. He is always with them and can help them even through the toughest times.
Leah’s life changed when her Mom was expecting a baby, her stepdad was deployed to Iraq and her new brother was diagnosed with special needs. But that’s also when she began attending Good News Club, and for three years she enjoyed singing about Jesus, learning verses, and letting Bible truths penetrate her soul. “Will you pray for Mom?” was often her prayer request as things at home continued to spiral downhill, especially after her stepdad returned with severe PTSD. Then the unthinkable happened. Leah’s stepdad killed her mom and himself. When faced with tragedy and loss, Leah knew she could turn to God for help.
Jim listened as the news reported about another shooting. Four had been killed and an 11-year-old girl had been shot multiple times. This lone survivor told detectives she played dead and prayed. Jim wondered who taught her to pray. None of the articles mentioned a church. Later, he found out this girl had been attending Good News Club since she was nine. Mrs. Pam taught her about the one true God and how to pray to Him. In the midst of this terrible, unspeakable wrong, this girl knew she could turn to God.
Kids can learn to stand strong in their faith when you teach them the benefits of knowing God. One way you can do this is by regularly thanking God for His benefits. Thank God your sins are forgiven, and you are part of God’s forever family, thank God you have eternal life with Him, and thank God that He cares for you and will help you. Encourage kids to pray these as well and instill gratitude in their hearts for these truths.
Unexpected things happen in life. But when children learn to trust God, they know who to turn to in difficult times. For more stories about the lives of children impacted by knowing God, check out our free IMPACT Magazine at cefonline.com/impact.
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