By Sarah Strub
My oldest child, Rebecca, is in junior high. She and her preteen classmates are becoming aware of romantic attraction. The school gives the children a healthy snack every day—often an apple.
The children grab the stem and see how many turns it takes to twist it off. For every turn, they say a letter. “A—B—C—D…” When the stem breaks off, they say the name of a potential boyfriend or girlfriend. I have talked to my daughter about dating at her age. “Learn about other boys and girls by just being friends for now,” I told her. So when Rebecca showed me the apple game, I noticed she wasn’t saying boyfriend names. “Good,” I thought, “she is listening to me.”
Yesterday, I prepared my children’s lesson for our church. Usually my lessons follow a familiar pattern: scripture reading, object lesson, review activity, and prayer. This week, as it is Transfiguration Sunday, I have some new ideas for a special display the children will put together to share with the congregation. I’m excited about the lesson but also sad. Rebecca is sick with the flu and will miss the fun. When children are absent from my class, I get concerned. “They’re going to miss out on learning,” I think, and it worries me.
As I was working on my lesson, a thought came to me. A Bible story that has been on my mind lately is about the boy who shared his lunch when the thousands of people who were listening to Jesus needed a meal. Jesus honored the child by accepting the woefully inadequate gift and miraculously multiplying it to fill everyone’s need. Jesus was delighted with the child’s willingness to do his part and leave the rest to God. My worry about the missed lesson melted away. “All I have to do is my part,” I thought. “God will do the rest.”
At the end of the day, I was tired. I had worked hard all day, and it had been raining. I was weary of dealing with a sick child too. My daughter hadn’t eaten much all day, but she wanted an apple for dinner. I washed it and gave it to her and wearily went about finishing my lesson plan. A small voice interrupted me.
“Hey, Mom.” Rebecca stood there holding up the apple stem. “J is for Jesus,” she said.
I had no need to worry. I had done my part. Rebecca has her own connection to God.
Sarah Strub is a member of the New Beginnings Christian Fellowship congregation in Big Sandy, Texas. She enjoys crafts of all types, including knife and tomahawk throwing!
Photo Credits: iStockPhoto