The past couple of weeks the kids I tutor have been nailing me with stupendous questions. Can I just pause and say I love that word. Stupendous. A good substitute for the much too frequently used "awesome". Anyways, back to the questions. Some of them make me buckle over in laughter and others leave me asking the Lord for a better answer than I gave.
Ashlyn, who is in 3rd grade, has been learning about writing "friendly letters". She had the greeting finished and was ready to move on to the body. After a little bit of confusion and frustration over the importance of indenting the first word of her paragraph she asked,
"What if it's not a friendly letter? What if it's a death threat?"
Ok, so are you asking me if you should indent the first line of a death threat? Well, sweet Ashlyn, I know you may be surprised to know this, but I've never actually written a death threat. I am sorry, but you are going to have to ask someone else, OR you could just stick to friendly letters. Just sayin'.
I had an easier time answering her next question: "Is the past tense of bring "brang" or "brought"? Although "brang" sounds much cooler (almost as cool as stupendous) the correct answer is brought. I may just start using "brang" though. And for anyone who wants to know, this common grammar mistake among children in middle childhood is called "overregularization". If I have to memorize that for a test, I might as well stick it on my blog, right?
By far my favorite question from this sweet one was after a conversation about faith. She was wondering if the story that her friend told her about Jesus walking on the water was true. After telling her that, yes, Jesus did indeed walk on water and adding in the part about Peter joining Him she asked me, "What if you have a little bit of faith, but also, a little bit of fear?"
I cannot tell you how challenged I was by her question. I gave a vague answer and we went inside to begin her work. I don't think I was a very productive tutor that afternoon because I was so busy searching for the answer to her beautifully convicting question.
I have faith. I believe God is who He says He is, and I believe He can do what He says He can do. So why am I allowing feelings of stress and anxiety over my future to have a place in my heart? What would Jesus say about my little bit of faith mixed with a little bit of fear? Is that really faith at all? Here is what I believe He would say:
Hebrews 10:35-36 (HCSB)
"So don't throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you need endurance, so that after you have done God's will, you may receive what was promised."
Let's not throw away our confidence in Him by letting fear rear its unbelieving head in our hearts, rather, let's endure so that we may receive all the good things He has for us.
When that little bit of fear and doubt starts making an appearance in our hearts let's go to the only One who can strengthen our faith and cry out:
Mark 9:24 (NIV)
"I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"
Jesus, you are the only one worthy of our full confidence. Strengthen us as we believe you. We adore you.