“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”
—Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
As a mom of two young kids, I’ve often heard about various milestones and phases — walking, talking, tantrums, and so on. One phase nobody thought to mention was when a child starts talking about death. Apparently, it’s common!
Lately, my five-year-old son has repeatedly brought up the topic of death. Some of these conversations are silly like, “Would we die if a killer whale swallowed us whole?” Others are more serious and difficult for me to navigate.
One day last week we were playing soccer in the backyard. Suddenly he stopped and with this far off look in his eyes he asked, “Mommy, when will I die?”
I stumbled through an answer about it being a long time from now. Honestly, I hoped my vague answer would satisfy his curiosity.
Then he asked, “How do you know it’ll be a long time?”
What I said was something like, “Well, because you’re just a kid and you’ll live a really long life!”
This conversation makes me think about how I really want my son’s hope to be grounded in Christ, in life and death. I want to talk about death with my son in ways that will help him gain a biblical, age-appropriate, hope-filled perspective. I want my son to see the hope I have in Jesus, no matter what happens.
Most preschoolers are open books. They will talk about anything — even death — with unabashed honesty, often in unexpected settings and at surprising times. As preschool leaders, we must be prepared for their simple, intense, real-life comments and questions. That is when we can share Jesus and His plans for our future with the young learners around us.
From the truth we read in God’s Word, we know Jesus is our hope. Let’s get ready to share our hope.
Lord Jesus, we pray for Your wisdom in knowing how to share our hope in You with the precious ones in our lives. Please help us when we face tough questions and life situations and try to lead our preschoolers toward a faith and hope-filled life. Thank You for giving us hope for all eternity. In Jesus’ name, amen.
by Lyndsay John