A Word from Lyndal Mitchell

I recently had the privilege and delight of joining Year 5 and Year 6 (on separate occasions) for their morning Devotions online. While I was keen to share God’s Word and pray with them, I was even more keen to hear from them, and to learn how they have been growing as God’s people in the context of lockdown and School@Home. I am often encouraged by the wisdom of children, and these visits were no exception. I won’t quote individual students, but here is a taste of the collective thoughts and insights of this remarkable group of young people:

We are learning how to rest, and that being busy all the time is not necessarily good for us. Not being rushed helps us to do better quality schoolwork. It is good not feeling rushed all the time. 

We don’t need all the things we thought we did. We can be happy with less and with what we already have. We are learning new skills, like how to keep ourselves organised, stay focused and be more responsible. We are finding new strengths that we didn’t know we had. 

This pandemic was a surprise to us, but it was not a surprise to God. Somehow, it is part of His plan for the world. Good can come from any situation when it’s in God’s hands. He can always be trusted.

There are so many things that we were taking for granted that we now appreciate. We can see now that they are good gifts from God and it has made us more thankful. We are learning gratitude, especially gratitude for things that have always been there – like our own backyards. Our pets are important. They can give us lots of comfort. Missing our friends has shown us how important they are to us too. We are finding new ways to connect with them, and that has been fun.

We are learning to appreciate our families more. We are spending more time together and it’s good to realise how important they are to us. 

The overwhelming majority of the comments made by students in both classes were related to gratitude. Given what we now know about the importance of gratitude to our long term emotional and mental well-being, I was greatly encouraged by this. What a rich opportunity our kids are being given at this impressionable time of their lives. The final comment, made by a Year 6 student, brought tears to me eyes. They said:

I’ve always known that God gives. But now I’ve learnt that He also takes away. And that’s ok. I can trust Him when He gives and when He takes away.

Our young people have so much to teach us. I am very grateful for them.

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 

1 Timothy 4:12

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