Lessons Learned From Michael

“From the mouth of babes!”

We respond in such a fashion when a young child speaks some words of amazement, humor, etc. Sometimes children seem to have a better understanding of certain things than adults.

So it is at times with my son Michael. He responds to some situations in just the right way, the way that we as adults often miss. Let me give you some examples.

“I want to go to class.”

For those of you who may have been wondering what was wrong with Michael two Wednesday nights ago before the singing, he was upset because he could not go to class (For those of you who do not worship here, all ages meet in the auditorium for our monthly singing.). He gets excited on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights because he gets to go to class. If only we all had that same enthusiasm. David said, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go into the house of the LORD’” (Psalm 122:1).

Do we have that attitude about meeting with the saints to study together from God’s word? It is obvious that not all do simply by observing how many who are able do not come for Bible class. Can we honestly say, “I want to go to class”? If not, why not? “Michael did it.”

Bill Cosby says that someone with only one child is not really a parent, because if anything is broken you know who did it. With more than one child, we usually have to figure out who did what. Most of us learn at a rather early age to try to hide what we do wrong and to offer excuses when discovered. Fortunately, Michael is still young and innocent enough that he has not yet learned to do that. If he does something wrong, often he will tell us before we can ask him or even discover what he has done. Are we “big” enough to admit when we have done wrong?

When Samuel confronts Saul about his sin, Saul begins to make excuses (1 Sam 15). When Nathan confronts David about his sin, David responds, “I have sinned” (2 Sam 12:13). Would you expect any less of a response from a man after God’s own heart? How do we respond to our sin? Are we always willing to say, “I did it”?

“I’m sorry.”

Like Fonzie on Happy Days, often we have trouble saying we are sorry. If we do say it, it is not always out of remorse. When Michael says he is sorry, he hangs his head, seemingly in shame for what he has done.

Speaking of His people, the Lord says, “Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No! They were not at all ashamed; Nor did they know how to blush” (Jer 6:15; 8:12). As a result, God says, “Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; At the time I punish them, They shall be cast down.” The right kind of sorrow for what we have done wrong will lead to change. Paul says, “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation.” (2 Cor 7:10). so not only does it lead to change, but also it leads to salvation. Do we have that kind of sorrow when we do wrong? Are we willing to say, “I’m sorry,” and then live accordingly?

“Fix it, Daddy.”

Sometimes I feel like we have more toys than a toy store. Michael always has at least one in need of repair. Whenever he does, he brings it to me and says, “Fix it, Daddy.” Sometimes I can, and other times I cannot. Paul says that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Rom 3:23) This means that we are all at times in need of repair, because sin separates us from God and leads to death (Isa 59:2; Rom 6:23).

The Father has what we need for fixing our sinful condition. “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).

While there are some broken toys that I cannot fix, there are no stained souls that the blood of Christ cannot cleanse. As long as we are willing to turn to God, He can and will fix us. Are we saying as often as is needed, “Fix it, Father”?

“Help me, Daddy.”

Michael continues to become more and more independent as he develops new skills and confidence, which is good and expected. But there are still things he realizes he cannot do alone. In those times he often says, “Help me, Daddy.”

The task at hand is normally something which I can easily do and which I gladly do for my child. So it is with us as God’s children. We never develop to the point that we no long need our Father’s help. In fact, the more we realize our dependence on Him, the stronger we become. Asa makes known this need for God when he cries out, “Lord, it is nothing for You to help, whether with many or with those who have no power; help us, O Lord our God, for we rest on You” (2 Chron 14:11).

Also, the Psalmist says of the righteous, “And the LORD shall help them and deliver them; He shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in Him” (Psalm 37:40). Where do we put our trust? God will easily and gladly help us as His children if we will trust in Him. Do we cry out, “Help me, Father”?

We can learn so many lessons from children. Jesus tells us of the need to be “converted and become as little children” to enter the kingdom of heaven (Matt 18:3). While there are ways I hope Michael grows up to become more like me, there are still other ways that I hope I grow up to become more like him.

“Children are a heritage from the LORD,...Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them” (Psalm 127:3, 5).

By Troy Nicholson

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