This email came during a unit on prayer after I had sent postcards to the kids encouraging them to pray “without ceasing”.
I think in this culture of entitlement and immediate gratification that our kids are growing up in, having doubts when they don’t feel like they immediately hear from God is pretty common. In our faced paced days and over scheduled weeks, our kids aren't learning how to slow down and watch for God speaking into our lives. As adults, it is imperative that we model this for our kids. It pains me to think of a generation of kids growing up not knowing how to be still and discern the voice of God.
This, in part, is how I answered this young girl: (Name), "I want you to know that what you are going through is okay - God wants us to ask the hard questions and wrestle with our faith. That is what helps us grow in our faith. I just want to caution you not to shut God out, because it is then that we can't hear from God as we are wrestling with those hard questions. Do continue to pray. It is okay to tell God you don't understand and you are not sure. Ask God to help you grow stronger in your faith. And be ready, because when we ask God that He will send us situations to help us be stronger in our faith!!
"There have been times when I have first met someone and I thought right away - oh, I could never be their friend, or, we have nothing in common. I then remained somewhat standoffish from them. But as time went by and I got to know them better because I was around them more, or worked with them more or talked with them more, we became really good friends. I now can't imagine them not being in my life. It is like that with God. You may experience doubt or have some hard questions but continue to pray, continue to study the Bible, continue to ask questions of other Christian adults whom you trust, listen to Pastor’s sermons - all of these things will help you get to know God better so that you can better understand who God is and grow in relationship with Him. Does that make sense? God wants nothing more than for you to be in relationship with Him.
"That does not mean that we always understand or that we never have questions - in fact there are things about God that remain a mystery and that we will never know because God is so great we cannot completely know all of God's ways. There will sometimes be unexplainable mysteries - but this is why we have faith.
"You are showing great maturity in your faith journey by willing to admit you are searching. I will continue to pray that God will help you discover who God is and that you may grow ever closer. God loves you, of that I am sure. And I am sure God wants nothing more than to be in relationship with you and for you to understand the incredible love God has for you. So incredible that God sent Jesus to die for YOU! Of that I am sure!”
Do you have a child in your life that you need to encourage to be in communication with God. If so, I hope that something I wrote here can encourage you as you encourage them.