God, I Know You’re There
Where is God? Is He real? If God is real why do bad things happen? Whether you are a curious toddler, a skeptic teen, or just questioning the Christian faith, these are all valid questions and whatever life stage we are in, they can be difficult to answer. Sometimes it can be helpful to look at these faith questions through the lens of a child. Author Bonnie Rickner Jensen and illustrator Lucy Fleming recently wrote God, I Know You’re There to remind children of the nearness and goodness of God, but it can also be a good reminder for the parent or caretaker that is reading the book along with them.
If we look closely, we can see God’s touch all over creation. Like the sun, God is warm. Like the stars, God is dazzling. Like the wind, God is all around, everywhere. Children will discover that God never leaves their side, even if they can’t see or feel Him. Each page will help children understand the many things in the world we can’t see, touch, or hear are just as real as God is. And even if God feels distant, He is real and He is near.
“ For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.[b] I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” Jeremiah 29:11-14
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Ask questions. It is okay to ask questions about the Christian faith. Whether it is your children, your small group, your family or even amongst your friends, create a space that people can feel comfortable in to ask questions that come up. When difficult situations or life events happen whether they are national events or things that personally affect you, take time to talk about it as a family, small group or with your friends. It can even be something as simple as saying, “It is okay to question why this happened,” or “Does anyone have any questions?” Take time to try to find the answers to the questions. It might be meeting with a pastor or ministry leader. It could be reading a book like Josh McDowell’s Evidence That Demands a Verdict or Lee Strobel’s Case for Christ or Case for Faith. Both Strobel and McDowell were once atheists trying to disprove the existence of God and along the way became believers. Remember that sometimes we won’t be able to find the answer and we have to trust God.
Experience God. Sometimes we need to be reminded of God’s presence. Take time this week to step back and experience God through creation. It could be going for a walk and allowing the breeze to hit your skin. It could be stopping to admire the flowers or going to the beach and watching the waves roll in. Take your Bible and journal with you. Write down what you see and a prayer to God. Thank Him for creating you and write down the specific things that you see that you are thankful for. If you are able to, take your child, grandchild, niece, nephew or go along with a friend that has a child. Sometimes seeing creation through their lenses can be refreshing for our faith as well. We often miss the subtle things that little eyes pick up on like the caterpillar inching across the sidewalk, the bee gathering nectar from the flowers or the snail slithering between the rock.
Come back to God. If your heart has wandered or your faith has become weary, turn to God. He wants you to come back to Him. Cry out to Him through prayer. If you need help, ask a friend or family member to pray with you or help you as you try to process some of life’s challenges. Just like the prodigal son that returned home after leaving his family and his father welcomed him back with open arms, God wants to welcome us back with open arms, we just need to decide its time to return home.
We were given a copy of God I Know You’re There by Frontgate Media, all of our thoughts and opinions are our own.