by Sheri Schofield
It was rodeo week in our Montana town during that a hot, dusty July. By the time Sunday rolled around, the children were exhausted by late nights of watching bull and bronco riders. I was teaching children’s church that day. The classroom was hot, so I took the children outside to the lawn, where I spread quilts on the ground under the towering shade trees. It was cooler, but not a breath of wind came to cool us. Within a minute, every child was laying down instead of sitting, and I could see their eyes drooping.
The story for the day was about Pentecost. “Lord,” I silently prayed, “these children need to understand your power! They need to know that the Holy Spirit can do great things through them! The children are sleepy. I need your help here!”
“Jesus had left earth and had returned to heaven,” I began. “He told those who followed him to go back into Jerusalem and wait for the Holy Spirit to come. They did. They met together and prayed for days.” I looked around at the children. Ah! One child was almost asleep! Lord, help!
“Suddenly, the Holy Spirit came. He rushed in with the sound of a mighty wind!” I looked up into the trees and stopped talking. Are you there Lord? I asked. A quick wind stirred in the tree tops.
The children looked up, startled.
“Hm.” I said. “No, it wasn’t a gentle wind. It was stronger.” I kept looking up. Suddenly, a great burst of wind hit the trees, and the sound filled the air!
The children’s eyes popped wide open! They were all sitting up now, mouths open, staring up into the trees!
“Yes!” I exclaimed. “It was like that!”
I jumped up, “They each began speaking in a different language! Over here, someone may have said, ‘Buenos dias!’ That’s Spanish. Over there, someone said, ‘Guten morgan, kinder!’ That’s German.”
Moving around the quilts to different locations, I greeted the children in seven languages, each one different than the other, to give them a taste of Pentecost. I had their full attention now, for God had “shown up”! Not a child there doubted it.
How many times in our lives do we feel that God is not with us in our times of trouble? Do we pray without ceasing, hoping he will show up? Do we anxiously cry out, “Help! Help! Help!” and keep on worrying? Or do we cry out to God and then fall silent, looking up, expecting our heavenly Father to “show up”, to speak to our hearts?
Our Father has a hard time answering us if we’re busy talking! It is when we fall silent before him that we can hear his voice. When we are silent, the Holy Spirit rushes in like a mighty wind and declares, “I am with you! Don’t be afraid! Don’t be anxious!”
When I am anxious, I often reach for my Bible. In God’s love letter, I find peace. Sometimes, I go for a walk in the forest and breathe in the fresh air while I wait for his answer to my problem. I’ve told him plenty about it! Now I need to listen. In my expectant silence, as I wait on God, he fills me with joy and comfort. He puts new thoughts in my mind, a better way of dealing with the problems. I am not alone in my struggle. God always shows up! He will always be there for each and every one of his children.
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14, NIV
About the author: Sheri Schofield, an award-winning children’s author-illustrator and children’s ministry veteran of 40 years, has just released her new book, The Prince And The Plan, to help parents lead their children into a saving knowledge of Jesus. Sheri was named Writer of the Year for 2018 at Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference for her work in effectively sharing the gospel of Jesus. Her ministry, Faithwind 4 Kids, can be followed on her blog at her website, http://www.sherischofield.com. Questions welcomed!
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