Shortly after graduating from college and settling back into my church home, I began teaching a 3rd grade Sunday School class and, for awhile, also taught a preschool children's choir. Oh, how I enjoyed these children. Sharing with them the love of Jesus thru the Bible and thru music was such a blessing. In turn, they also taught me many things along the way. I learned how to come before the Lord with the heart of a child, how to put my adult cares and concerns aside and focus only on the moment and the time we had together, how to be open to new lessons and new truths about God, and the list could just go on and on and on.
It has been about 15 years now and I have since moved to another state, married and have children of my own, joined a new church, and teach a new group children in Sunday School. However, what I am learning now is how these children that I first taught have grown up and "gone forth into the world". My sister is still an active member in that same church and below are a couple of things she has told me about where several of these children are now:
* One little girl I taught in children's choir is now married with children and they are leaving for the mission field later this year as missionaries.
* A little boy I taught in children's choir is now married, an active member in their church and involved in their church music program.
* Another girl is now praying about the Lord's leading her into the mission field.
Each time I hear a story such as this about one of these children my heart soars. It is such a joy to know they have grown up to be such strong Christian adults going out into the world and sharing the love of Christ with others.
This feeling is what we hear John expressing in these first 4 verses of 3 John. John says he has "... no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in the truth." The man to whom John addresses this letter is a friend and brother in the Lord, Gaius. John is rejoicing that Gaius is still walking with the Lord with love and in the truth.
God feels this same way about each one of us. As our heavenly Father, He rejoices with us as our earthly parents also rejoice with us as we grow and succeed. He rejoices as we grow more and more in Him. He rejoices as we seek Him each day. He rejoices as we turn more and more of our lives over to Him.
How comforting it is to know that God is right alongside us rejoicing as we navigate our daily lives while seeking Him and sharing His love with others!