As July begins, I’ve already begun to see countless flags and signs of freedom everywhere I look. In my community, flags line the divided highway as a reminder of the freedoms we have in our country. At this time of year I’m also reminded to give thanks for the freedom we have been given in a relationship with Christ.
In Galatians 5:1 Paul quickly reminds us that “it is for freedom that Christ set us free.” What a great purpose for being set free: to actually live in the freedom that Christ provided for us. It sounds like a novel idea, but not one we always embrace. As I’ve given thought to these words, I can’t help but think of the children we serve in missions education. Each one is a unique creation of God with unique gifts, talents, and abilities along with personalities all their own. Each one chooses to express himself or herself in different ways.
It is humbling to sit and ponder how God will use each of these children in their lives. We know they won’t be children forever, so we wonder what they will be when they grow up, what kind of job they will have, if they will become missionaries or ministers, and how God will use them to tell others about Jesus.
No matter what they become when they grow up, it is a privilege to watch them learn to express themselves and learn to be who God has called them to be. Over time they will discover their gifts and begin to use them. As that happens we have the opportunity to encourage them to be an individual and to be all that God has created them to be.
As I’ve mentioned in a few previous blog posts, my two-year-old niece is doing a wonderful job of helping me think about God and how He guides our lives. On a recent visit to see her she was reluctant to put on the clothes her Mommy had chosen for her. After some time and coercing she finally relented and got dressed so we could go outside and play, but not before she added her own special touch to her outfit. I couldn’t help but laugh as we just left her alone to finish dressing herself. Even at the age of two she is learning to express herself and to be free. She is exercising her two-year-old ability to make choices and to be all that God has created her to be. (At this point, I’m hoping that’s not a fashion designer!) However, I am continually reminded that the children we serve are learning to live in a world where God has given them the freedom to walk in His ways and to follow after Him.
Spend some time this week praying for the children in your life and thank God for the opportunity to see them grow and learn and express themselves as they seek to become all that God has created them to be. It’s really quite exciting.
By Suzanne Reece
Ministry Consultant, WMU