“Daddy how do we know where God is if we can’t see him?”
Children just know how to drop these questions on you at the craziest times.
Like this morning running out the door for school, which was actually “Walk to School Day!”
She also wanted to know about Satan and if he was still alive and where he was……. Soooo…… Yeah…..
I hadn’t even had coffee yet and Ava coming on strong with these big questions at 6:15am!!!
How do you even begin?!?
So on our brisk walk to school, I dove in… “Ava you know how when you can’t see me or I’m not here, you can see the evidence of where I’ve been?”
“Daddy what’s evidence mean?”
“Well Ava…. uhhhh….”
These are the moments that always stump me the most, trying to explain what certain words mean that she doesn’t understand but are needed to explain what I’m explaining!
Then I get down a rabbit trail explaining that word and then next thing you know… We are talking about penguins.
That didn’t exactly happen this morning but if you are a parent, you know what I’m talking about.
A child’s serious questions followed by limited attention span and constant drifting imagination.
“Ava you see my pants over there and my shoes by the door and my dinner plate from last night… Yes daddy needs to clean up better… But you see all that stuff?
That’s the ‘evidence’ or stuff that tells you I was here and so if you walk in from school and don’t see ME, you can see my STUFF so you know I was here… I left evidence!”
“When we leave for school, mom will get up and see your bowl here in the kitchen and know what you had for breakfast and know you were here won’t she?! Even though she won’t see you. So just like that, all around us we see the EVIDENCE of God, where he’s been and what he’s doing.
We see His handiwork in sunrises and in beautiful creation just like I see your paintings hanging on the fridge.”
Psalm 19 says, “The heavens are declaring (painting or singing) the glory of God and the skies are shouting about his artwork!” (My version don’t sue me)
“Ava, we also see God on display with every act of kindness and love.
Every time we forgive or choose to put others first we see the evidence of God on display!”
James 1:17 says “every good and perfect gift is coming down from the Father of heavenly lights”
We can actually see God everywhere if we are looking and pay attention.
We talked a little more about question 1 and then came question 2!!!
“So daddy how do we know where the enemy is? Is he still alive?”
I told her in the same way we see the evidence or proof of God, we can see the same from the enemy.
We talked about how there are dark things in the world that are not how God originally wanted or created them to be but how a group of angels disobeyed God and were thrown out of Heaven. Since then they exist to ruin God’s created things and temp us to live our lives in darkness instead of light.
“Ava, You know how when you don’t tell the truth or when you do something you know you shouldn’t, you hide from us? Or how Rosa yesterday hid in the closet cause she pooped her pants?! (Gross!! But understandable) Just like Adam and Eve we feel ashamed and when we hide, we always hide in darkness.
The enemy loves darkness and wants us to run to it instead of running to God & letting Jesus love for us bring light into our lives.
So just like we see God in the good… We can see the enemy in the bad “stuff” of this world.
Everything that is not how God designed it to be and is broken from sin, is part of the enemies art-work.”
I told her how the enemy is very much active and still trying to destroy God’s plans and tempt us to live meaningless lives and not live for the things that God loves.
Where is he?
We don’t know for sure, but we do know he’s NOT everywhere like God.
He’s not near as powerful as God and though we don’t see Angels, good or bad, we know God’s word tells us they exist and are all around.
But most importantly we know God will crush the enemy.
You know how songs talk about conquering or defeating and winning?
Those are the words that remind us God will have the final say over our lives and this world… Not the enemy.
That’s the GOOD news!
“We don’t worry about the enemy and what he’s doing and we think on God and what He’s doing and trust Him… With all our questions and when we are afraid and even when sometimes it seems like the enemy is winning…
We remember what God’s word tells us… That Jesus stands in victory and so we have victory with Him!”
So, I did my best and honestly the conversation wasn’t as smooth as how I typed it here. A good bit of pausing and stuttering took place.
I had to fight back allowing any tone of frustration sneak in when she would ask what a word still means that I clearly explained 🙂
Also, in case I’m giving the impression I just farted out my opinions on the matter, I put some scripture references below that are what I drew from when trying to speak with confidence to my little 7 yr old.
I believe everything I said, though I question things myself and often let what the darkness is doing get more of my attention then what the light is doing.
I forget sometimes that though it seems the enemy is winning…
He in fact, is not.
We are seeing the evidence of war, of good and evil, but It’s a war already won. And I’m grateful I could tell Ava that this morning.
Upon which she saw the picture I took of the sunrise above and said, “Look dad, it’s God’s pants!”
How’s that for theology!!!
Just a FEW References:
The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world. God has made a home in the heavens for the sun. (Psalms 19:1-4 NLT)
Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?
But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:55, 57 NLT)
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (Ephesians 2:10 NLT)
For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12 NLT)
(LONG reference but worth reading!)
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:18-22, 28, 31-32, 35, 37-39 NIV)
….there are many more, so please feel free to add in the comments below, but this is a good starting point.