During VBS: Go!
Day 4: God will always love children
One afternoon, I heard a young girl in a prison cell near mine crying. “I don’t like it here!” she said as she cried. The girl, Joy, was about 5 years old. She and her mother, Mrs. Lee, had just arrived at the jail. Mrs. Lee had spoken out against the government for arresting her pastor. She was rewarded for her loyalty with a prison sentence.
“Don’t cry, Dear,” I heard Mrs. Lee tell the girl. “Jesus will take care of us.” But Joy continued to weep. “What’s going on?” I heard another prisoner say. “What is such a young kid doing here? What have you done?” she demanded of Mrs. Lee. Mrs. Lee quietly explained her situation. Other prisoners in nearby cells scolded her. “I think you’re a bad mother!” one said. Even the prison director came to the cell and tried to get Mrs. Lee to deny her faith and speak out against her pastor. “Give up!” he told her. “Then you and your child can go free!”
Mrs. Lee sounded miserable. But finally, she agreed to stand in front of a crowd gathered outside the police station and say, “I am no longer a Christian.” Later other prisoners told me what happened after Mrs. Lee and Joy went home. “Jesus is not happy with you,” Joy had said to her mother when they were safe in their house.
“Joy, you cried in jail. I had to say I was no longer a Christian because I love you,” her mother had answered. “But I don’t want Jesus to be sad,” Joy said to her mother. “If we go back to jail, I will not cry.” Mrs. Lee hurried to the prison director. She told him, “You talked me into saying wrong things so my daughter could be free. But she is braver than I am! She is a Christian, and so am I. Do what you want to with us. We are ready.” Mrs. Lee and Joy came back to the prison. And Joy no longer cried.
Thank you, Holy Father for never leaving us alone. Thank you for the grace You give us to die to self and to live in surrender. We pray for our brothers and sisters who live in persecution. Today they like us, may be weak, weary and poured out, but we all stand ready to receive effervescent, life-giving power from your Holy Spirit. Only You can invigorate, awaken, and quicken us to You and Your missional purpose. You have loved and forgiven our shame by covering us with Your holiness. You are tender hearted and merciful when we did not deserve sympathy, let alone mercy. You are mercy. You are blessing. You are goodness. You are love. Dress us in Your love. Dress us in humble, gentleness today. Amen.
- Thanking God for encouraging us to press ahead and grow up in Him
- Teach us to desire to learn from our trials so that God will mature us in Him
- For children to learn that the life of a Follower is not easy, but when trials come, God will help them to stand firm.
- We pray for children who will attend VBS in Austria.
- For God’s church to be strengthened in our resolve to serve the Living God. Pray that that we will put Christ first. Pray that our trust in God grows exponentially, and we will learn the true value of knowing our God. Pray that we would desire more and more grace.