When my niece was a young child, she went to an aunt who was a schoolteacher and asked her, “Where do mountains come from?” The aunt launched into an age-appropriate description of plate tectonics, masses of land moving over the earth, sometimes crashing together, making a mountain range. After listening attentively, at the end of the discourse my niece said, “I thought God made the mountains.” The aunt replied, smiling, “Yes, that’s right, but that’s how God did it.”
The simple trust of a child is wonderful to experience. Maybe this is why Jesus said that the kingdom of God belongs to children and those with simple trusting hearts like children. Those of us blessed with years have enough experience where we are by default distrustful, never going in “all the way” on anything. We are always looking out for ourselves. We assume everyone else is looking out for themselves and always trying to get an advantage for themselves, even if it means taking from us. We can grow a callous shell around us. O child, enjoy your innocence, because we will teach you to be suspicious of everyone.
The story of the Bible is the story of a God who does not give up on us. When the freed Hebrew slaves grumbled, God led them along. When they populated the Promised Land, when they harvested their crops, when they got some money in their pockets, they became more self-centered, looking out for #1, since #1 had more to lose now than when he or she was a slave. As a people prospers materially, they seem to lose sight of the Source of the prosperity. God set in motion a plan to bring the people back to God by calling to a young boy named Samuel. It would take time for the boy to grow up, but God was patiently at work in the situation. We can be confident that no matter how bad things get, not matter the tragedy, that God is at work trying to bring good out of that event.
At our Sunday 10:30 am service on October 15 we will look at 1 Samuel 3:1-21, Every person did what they personally thought was good for themselves. Nepotism had corrupted the religious system. God was only called in for emergencies, and then only as a magical force. In this time, God planned to clear the deck by touching the ears of an altar boy, Samuel, who would grow into their strongest leader since Moses. Do you think some of that pattern is repeated nowadays? Grace happens, by God!