My daughter just started her freshman year at a Christian college on the West Coast. The minister at her church on campus is a wonderful Australian surfer dude preacher (not his real name). The last time we worshipped there, he shared something I thought was profound.
“The sun is always shining.” Think about it. Even on the cloudiest, rainiest days we have enough light to see (even barely). Those are rays of sun breaking through the clouds. At night, the sun hasn’t left, we have just turned around from it. When we come back around the next morning, the sun is there waiting for us. Some nights the sun even sends us a reminder it is still there by reflecting its rays off of the moon, making it light up our night sky.
When we say I wish the sun were shining, it is our perspective that is off a bit. You see the sun is shining, we just aren’t able to see it because of our somewhat depressed perspective. Think about the expressions people use to “help” someone through a rough time. “It’s always darkest before the dawn.” “The sun will come out tomorrow.” All ignore the fact that the sun has been there all the time, we just couldn’t see it.
Our children’s view of God may be that He comes and goes like the sun, unless we help them see things differently. Even in the toughest of times, God is there working. He is loving us and supporting us. He is moving either in obvious ways or in ways we may not see or understand for years to come. No matter what though, God is always there.
We need to teach our children to see the sun even when it is not clearly visible in the sky. Tell them how God is always there even when it may not be obvious to the untrained “eye”. Teach them how to look for God when they are having good times and when they are going through tough spots. Train them how to see God working in little ways and big ones. Show them how God allows us to feel His love through the Bible, prayer, circumstances and the people he sends our way.
Now that I have the perspective of an always shining sun, I can see it even on rainy days and dark nights. I hope you give your child the same gift of knowing God is always there and how to see Him even in the darkest of times.
P.S. Want to really blow the minds of older kids and teens? Take them to one of those caverns so popular in the Blue Ridge Mountains where the guide takes you deep into the cave and turns out the lights. That, my friends, is total darkness. Ask your kids to imagine what would happen if when the guide flipped the switch to turn the lights back on, nothing happened. What would they do if they had no flashlights or matches? Explain to them the fear, hopelessness and complete darkness they would feel are what life is like without God in it.