A child's perspective
God created this world in all its vastness but what can a child know about God? How can we engage with Him? How can a child steer clear of dangers that often lie undetected? I was only a 12- or 13-year-old and at Secondary School in the early 1980s. Dad, Mum, my brothers and I lived on a quiet road about a mile from the hall we attended for church. We were all Christians. I loved the Gospel Hall where we had Friday Club on a Friday night, and met up with the children from the neighbourhood. I had trusted God for about 6 years of my young life, and I was still learning about Him. I was to find out more about Him one autumn evening. After a day at school, and having come off the bus, I turned the corner into our road, and walked up to our gate in the dusk. Dad and Mum had given me keys for our front door, so I could let myself into the house when I came home from school. If I did not wish to be home by myself, I went up the road to someone with whom my brothers and I would stay until Dad and Mum collected us. This particular evening, I put my key into the lock to enter the house and opened the door a crack. I then paused, looked backwards and up at the night sky, decided I would shut the door, and go and join my brothers. And that was what I did. Later on, Dad and Mum collected my brothers and I and we arrived home together. I had told them I did not feel like going into our house on my own that evening. Dad and Mum went in first and I heard an exclamation – we had been burgled. The burglar(s) had left before we arrived and taken one or two items. I remember my Dad remarking that it was a good thing that I had not entered the house on my own earlier that evening – God had protected me from harm. I had to agree with him. I had only thanksgiving to give to God. I realized, at that point, that He was more powerful than I had thought, and more interested in my welfare than I thought, and that made me feel happy and relieved. I had learned about the love of God before, but this incident had proved His care for me in a significant way. Whilst my Mum had told me that she prayed to God every day for the safety of me and my brothers, I realized that God had heard my mother’s prayers, as He had heard mine – prayer to God was more powerful than I had thought. These realizations made me think deeply. I saw God’s care for me as ‘love with direction’, steering me away from the path of danger. I had asked the Lord Jesus Christ to forgive me of my sins when I was only 6 years old – that is, to forgive me of the things I had done wrong and ever would do wrong. This was because I wanted a relationship with God for all eternity – to be with Him in heaven when I die.
I had learned these things from the Bible and from my parents. That’s why we went together to the Gospel Hall to worship God – we believed He deserves our worship, and more. I found my love for God to be more concrete after that incident. God’s love was something that I had proven was real, even if I still had much more to learn about God Himself. I believe God looks for opportunities to show His love for us. We can come to Him through His Son Jesus Christ, who died that we might live.