A short paragraph from a little book called Hints for Parents unexpectedly stopped me dead in my tracks the other day. It’s still soaking in. The words are from a 19th century minister by the name of Gardiner Spring. Shepherd’s Press has put them into a little booklet with comments added by Tedd Tripp.
Anyway, here’s the quotation with explanation to follow:
The poorest, the weakest, the simplest child, is born for immortality. This value outweighs the entire material universe, no matter how small a mark this child makes on it. The tiniest infant owns a deathless intellect, and is as immortal as the Father of spirits. No one can tell what this child will become.
Moses, Solomon, Mary and Paul were once children. The millions now bowing before God’s throne, and other millions looking up form hell, were once children. During their short lives, many of their minds became powerfully active, their views were quickly and astonishingly enlarged, and their vast knowledge enriched generations to come.
But now, in heaven, even the simplest child stands before God knowing more, feeling more intensely than any of the great intellects of this earth. The soul of a child can hold so much. This little, immortal spirit is capable of enjoying (or suffering) more than all intelligent creatures, on earth and in heaven, have yet enjoyed or suffered. Who can help but be overwhelmed at the unfathomable importance of the most “ordinary” child?
What hit me hard is that two of these immortal children currently reside in my house. One way or the other they will exist beyond this life for eternity. Although they are my children, they do not belong to me, they are God’s. Thus the question: who cannot be overwhelmed at such a thought? If you’re a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, Awana leader, Sunday school teacher, or have friends who have small children, it is no less overwhelming to think that we make an impact (for good or bad) upon the children we interact with in our lives. What kind of stewards we are being with the children God has entrusted into our care or influence? How much does this reality thrust us upon God for their every need and our every need? Apart from Him we can do nothing…