“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
So many years ago, the world was expecting a great ruler to enter the scene, one who was coming in great majesty. It was not their expectation that something as lowly as a stable would be the introduction point of the One who was bringing redemption for fallen man.
The Bible doesn’t really tell us much about the childhood of Jesus. Luke 2:41-52 tells of the time Jesus was in the temple with the teachers, listening and asking questions. The scripture goes on to say that all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers.
While this is one of the few mentions of Jesus as a child, we can see that before He was revealed as the Savior to all, His specialness was at least somewhat evident in His early years. Being fully God and fully man, as a boy, Jesus probably mimicked His parents as He learned life skills. He also probably skinned His knees when playing games outside with friends. Even so, those who knew Him as the carpenter’s son would one day lay eyes on Him as Savior of the world.
While there is only one Jesus, and one plan of redemption for the world, there is much to do yet these many years later. His commission to us was to go and make disciples. (Matthew 28:19) He gives us the power to do so when we become born again.
As we are doing our part to reach others with the Gospel, let us not forget the children. The Bible tells us that the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. (Matthew 9:37) Are we watching for the glimpses of the hand of the Lord in our children, who will fulfill this call only a few short years down the road? Do we realize God has a purpose for each child as they mature?
We cannot overlook the young ones. Teaching little ones beyond life skills and preparing them for adulthood will bring greater results to the work of the Lord.
What do we see as we interact with the precious hearts of the children? What areas can we help them develop even greater? Do we see tenderness full of compassion in some? Do we see others who are eager to help whenever they get a chance? Do we notice the child who protects his friends from being mistreated by other classmates? The one who is vocal and not afraid to stand firm on what is right?
The younger years are pliable years. We can take advantage of these years to help our children grow into exactly where the Lord is calling them to be. The time will come for the younger generation to labor in the harvest. Those of us laboring now can take part in nurturing those coming on. May the Lord bless us with strong and healthy laborers because of our efforts. May He give us wisdom and understanding as we pour our hearts into our children. And someday, we will be blessed to reap the blessing of seeing them shine in the role that God has for them, because we took the time to sow.