I often do Bible clubs with stories, songs, and memory verses in the community. Even though the areas are within walking distance I’ll normally drive there since chairs and other items are used, and it conserves energy.
There is another reason I drive….
it’s to experience the response of children when they see my car!
One area in particular usually has children playing in the road. Whenever they see my car coming the immediately stop, and run towards the car screaming my name (of course I stop driving). Their excitement to see me never fails to put a big smile on my face.
That excitement comes from their love for me, but it also comes from a heart that is open to the Gospel. You see, they LOVE Bible club! Last week a large group of them gave their full attention as I used a flannelgraph to tell the story of Noah. They were so well behaved that one of the parents actually took their picture, and sent it to me!
I wish I could tell you their hearts will always be that open to the things of God…..
but it just isn’t true.
As children enter their teenage years, they interact with more and more people who view things like flannelgraph storis as “boring.” And slowly but surely, their hearts harden to the things of God because they want to be cool.
One of the greatest lies Satan tells us is the heart of children will remain tender to the Gospel.
He tells us this so that we will waste the tender young years when kids will run to your car shouting your name. And try to reach them in the teen years. I’m not saying God cannot reach teenagers of course, or every teen is hard towards God. But I’ve seen far too many tender hearts change when they turn twelve.
So how do we respond to the hardening of teens hearts?
Use the gift of their tender years!
With the Lords I come share with the children of Barrouallie as much as possible in their younger years. And do my best to evangelize, disciple, and train them. Because far too soon the young person who runs to my car won’t give me the time of day.
Every time I hear children shout my name I’m reminded what a precious gift the tender years are.
And I pray to God they won’t be wasted.