“…Through the Praise of Children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.”
It was the day before she died and she was hanging somewhere in the balance between two distinct worlds. There were moments of confusion and clarity but still enough presence of mind to kid around a bit. So in that spirit of jest I asked her, “So Mom, who was your favorite child?” hoping at last to solve the mystery. She smiled and replied, “That is simple…the child who needs me the most.”
Deep in the heart of every child is the need to feel favored, chosen, loved and not rejected. In Isaiah 4:19 The Lord reminds us “I have chosen you, and not rejected you.” Our desperate need for the Lord and dependence on Him makes us His favorite.
I could never choose a favorite child or favorite grandchild! I could never choose a favorite camper. But my “motherly heart” has had thousands of moments in this place where the child in front of me was my favorite for that moment!
Many children have already experienced the greatest pain known to man, the pain of abandonment, and all the anger and fear that accompanies that. As a result they can develop fierce independence and self-reliance very young. Though they may spend their lives striving toward independence, the real key to a deep and abiding relationship with Jesus is found in dependence upon him.
To best illustrate this idea, I strongly encourage you to Google search or Facebook search the two minute Marcus Stanley video by Ray Carmen. It is the story of a little lamb who was rejected by its mother and the shepherd who adopted the lamb.
Sometimes in our lives, someone really important to us and who was supposed to love us and someone whom our survival depends upon, rejects us, turns their back and leaves and won’t even meet our basic needs. Therefore, we proceed to ask why the person who was so important to me has rejected me.
The farmer Ray suggests that maybe, just maybe, it is because the shepherd wants to pick you up and take you home and take care of you Himself. When the shepherd raises a rejected little lamb, there is a sweet intimacy and dependence upon the shepherd that the little lamb comes to know.
It is nothing short of a miracle to see kiddos turn towards their shepherd, and in dependence and trust, they begin to pour out praise. Summer camp is a place of praise. In Psalm 8:2 it says, “…Through the Praise of Children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.”
Satan may try to use rejection and abandonment in of children, but even in their deficits, He makes those an offering. As the children begin to embrace the truth that they are chosen, favored and loved, they begin to flourish.
There was something of the Lord’s heart in my mother’s answer to me that day!
A reminder that we are each His favorite.
Our need for the Lord and dependency on Him will bring intimacy and is a gift to be treasured.
That He has something for us to do: The Lord did not choose us instead of others but rather for the sake of others.
I can hardly wait for God’s favorite children to arrive at camp.