Last Wednesday, my sweet little granddaughter Juliana turned 6, but I promise you she’s 50. Every parent and grandparent has bragged at one point that their toddler is smart. I don’t know if I’ve ever called her smart as much as I’ve called her wise. She leaves me dumbfounded at the wisdom beyond her years that shoots out of her mouth. It’s weird.
So, the day before her birthday my husband Gene was at the kitchen table reading his Bible while the girls were in the living room watching tv. Out of the blue, Juliana interrupts Gene’s reading and said, Papa, We can’t live without our souls.
Gene turned toward her and asked What did you say?
He had heard her, but wanted to make sure he heard right.
Eyes fixed on the tv, she repeated herself, We can’t live without our souls.
He grabbed his pen and wrote her words down on the top of the page of sermon notes he was preparing to share with the inmates today.
When I got home, he couldn’t wait to share it with me. It moved my big guy to tears as he said, Lea, God speaks through little children. Do you hear me? He speaks through them. Through Juliana. Because what does she know about our souls? She doesn’t know that God tells us to love Him with all of our heart, soul and mind.
She had continued to watch television. What she doesn’t know is how it made her Papa dive deeper into God’s Word. How it shook him up and made something in him want more of God. How it effected the message of hope he was preparing for men locked up in prison. She knows none of that, but God does and He used her little clueless self to speak into her Papa’s heart. And encourage him to keep loving God with all of his heart, soul and mind.
Back in October 2014, Juliana was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis. She has endured much pain to the point that some days she can’t walk. She sees a specialist in Omaha at the Children’s Hospital and recently began receiving weekly shots at home. And through all of it, she says things that makes us adults, say What did you say?
Even the doctor and nurses have said there is just something special about her.
At 6-years-old, she doesn’t understand too much about this Jesus we seek, talk or sing about. She is at the age that whatever direction her Mom steers her in the area of beliefs and passion is where she’ll follow. When she sees her Papa on Sunday morning fill our house with Gospel music and praise and worship, she copies him. He raises his arms, her little limbs reaches for the sky.
But. Even in her lack of age, knowledge or relationship with Jesus He is getting to her. There are seeds being planted at home, at our house and at church and with Jesus that is enough.
I am excited about watching her grow up and be His girl. I’m excited to see how He uses this crippling, painful disease to use her to share of His greatness because that’s the kind of God we have. Our Heavenly Father lets NOTHING that happens to us go without testimony. Without opportunity to lead others to His throne of grace and mercy.
He sees our little about-to-be 1st grader and He is writing her story. I pray she lets Him continue to use her to minister to the young and the 50-year-old Grandpa’s. The impact He can have through and in her excites the heck out of me.
Cooperate with your Creator little girl and see what He does. Grandma loves you.
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.
1 Timothy 4:12