Through the eyes of children
December 10, 2018, 11:08 AM

Through the eyes of children…I am a child of God

This month I was able to spend some much needed extended time with my family. Two weeks, this is the longest break, from everyday life, we have taking in nearly 4 ½ years. Our journey took us nearly 3600 miles, three states (Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas), and two countries (United States and Mexico). Two adults, five children (6 to 13), five more extended family, two cars, a ship, walking, a tour bus, and a country experiencing radical governmental change, the logistics alone can quickly become overwhelming, crazy, right? In a group like this, the first disagreements (arguing) occur within 30 miles of home. 770 miles later, we finally arrive and settle into our second home-away-from-home (hotel) in Galveston, Texas. By now, I am totally exhausted, frustrated, and left wondering, “Why in the world, one year ago, did we think this was a great idea? I’m already beaten down.

About this time, God in infinite wisdom, far greater than my own, places a thought into my mind, “Walk the kids to the beach,” Gods says, “It will be fun,” God says. So, that is what I did. Myself, and four of the five, begin the journey toward Sea Wall Blvd. I realized quickly, there in the busy streets of Galveston, Texas, my children’s exposure to walking in town has been limited to the rural southwest Kansas town of Sublette. Their limited experience does not translate well into our current situation. However, we all made it, alive, across Sea Wall Blvd., and onto Galveston Beach.

This is the first time four of us have ever seen the majestic and breath taking wonder of the ocean. I’m not exaggerating at all, as we stood at the edge of the beach, for the first time since we left Sublette, my children were quite and still. They stood, in that moment, simply taking in a first experience. The waves were much larger than normal due to storm system moving through the area. Each wave crashed forcefully on the beach sending a mist of water into the air and against their befuddled faces. The smell of salt water, seaweed, and fish dominated the air. Then the silence broke. “This is so beautiful I might cry,” says our youngest. These are the words I needed to hear. These are the words God wanted me to hear. These words would change the entire course of our vacation.

I have seen the ocean, as a matter of fact, many times. While I continue to love all the beauty the ocean has to offer, I had lost the first experience of taking in the sounds, sights, smells, taste, and feel of that moment. Now, many years after my own first experience, I am standing in magical amazement as my children get to encounter a beauty in God’s creation for the first time. Through them, I was briefly taken back to another time, another place, and on different ocean. A moment in time which had began to fade from my heart. I was, in that moment, looking with awe, amazement, wonder, curiosity, and imagination at God’s creation through the eyes of children.

Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. (Deuteronomy 4:9)

The remainder of our journey was filled with countless first. Every first for my children was a renewal of heart for me. Undertaking an incredible journey with five children in tow, we struggled daily. Mostly, the struggles were about what to do, what to see, and how to do it all. Every moment would lead to a new and renewed revelation filled with joy, laughter, and excitement. But, and most importantly, it was a time of building relationship between me and my kids and me and God. Maybe, just maybe, I have been given a glimpse of eternity.

I am a child of God!

People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them. (Mark 10:13-16)

Peace and Blessing to all who read and hear these words.

Pastor Eddie Pennington

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