By Mark Dance
Watergate television updates in 1972 were nothing more than interruptions to my cartoons. As a 7-year-old, I remember wondering how the whole White House got flooded in the first place.
Children aren’t supposed to feel the weight of the world, much less understand it. As our children and grandchildren struggle to grasp the implications of COVID-19, there are a few concrete concepts we can help them with, which will remain for the rest of their lives.
1. Our children will remember how much we trusted God.
Deuteronomy is basically a review of the Mosaic law, written for the children of the Exodus Generation, aka the Joshua Generation.
That younger generation was faced with the same hard decision their parents had about whether to possess the land or play it safe.
Moses reminded them that their parents panicked at the Promised Land instead of possessing it, as the LORD God told them to.
“The Promised Land” gets its name from God’s promise to give them the land of Canaan by empowering them to take it from their hostile, godless neighbors:
The LORD your God who goes before you will fight for you, just as you saw him do for you in Egypt.” (Deuteronomy 1:30)
The Exodus generation was terrified of the Canaanites, even though they saw firsthand the ten plagues unleashed on Egypt.
They were also eyewitnesses to the parting of the Red Sea, which led to both their safe exit as well as the demise of the world’s most powerful army.
Their children were now faced with the same opportunity 40 years later to stay in the familiar desert or go in and possess the land.
Thankfully, that generation learned from their parents’ mistakes by trusting in the faithfulness of God instead of repeating them.
2. Our children will remember how well we took care of each other.
I’m afraid we’re all stuck with the unfortunate toilet paper byline of this coronavirus story.
However, new stories are daily being told of heroism by our healthcare workers, first responders, and multitudes of other good neighbors—including pastors and churches.
As this coronavirus story is being written each day, ask yourself how you’ll become a positive part of it. Ask also how your children can contribute.
Your children can glorify God in the middle of this crisis and, in turn, pass that legacy on to their children one day.
Joshua’s generation not only trusted God more than their parents did but so did their children who watched them bravely possess the land.
3. Our children will remember how God provided.
There’s nothing unspiritual about being concerned about your family’s safety and security.
No one can guarantee that we’ll come out of this unscathed, but we do have a great opportunity to show our children how big we believe God is.
The bigger our God is to our children, the smaller our challenges will seem to them, and us.
I don’t want to sound ungrateful for whatever part the $2 trillion stimulus package will play to help us, but we should not place our trust in provision from the government.
I suggest we flip the script of this story by lifting Jesus as the Savior He is, teaching them how He provided not only for our salvation but also our daily needs.
4. Our children will remember the extra attention they got from us.
For adults, this awkward asylum is an excellent opportunity to invest in the most important people in our lives—our family.
Our children and grandchildren will probably remember this crisis as being the longest and best Spring Break of their lives.
They’re likely less concerned about the canceled vacation than we are because they just want our loving attention.
Believer, will you panic during this pandemic, or will you seize this opportunity to trust God?
Will you look out only for yourself or also for the interests of others? Will you take this opportunity to make a lifetime memory with your children, which could benefit their children?
Our response to this pandemic impacts not only our children and our legacy but also God’s glory.
MARK DANCE (@markdance) speaks at churches, conferences, and retreats—often with his wife Janet. Mark has contributed to several books and offers weekly encouragement at MarkDance.net. He’s currently serving as director of pastoral development for the Oklahoma Baptist Convention.