When God Uses Sticky-Fingered, Runny-Nosed Teachers

Sticky fingers and runny noses, really? Yuck, what a way to start a thought, but trust me, it’s much sweeter than it sounds. I promise.  I love the way God uses object lessons and word pictures throughout the Bible. He knows that we need help grasping concepts, and why shouldn’t He?  He designed our brains!  Jesus taught through parables while He was here on earth.  He drew pictures in the sand, and He also used children (maybe even one with a runny nose) to show us how we must come to Him, honest and open.

I think God continues to use children to teach us many things (mostly patience, but that’s a story for another day!)  Sometimes He shows us incredible truth through the actions or words of a sticky-fingered, runny-nosed child.  A friend recently shared this story with me….

Every night my wife and I put our toddler to bed with the same routine: clean up, jammies, read a book together, and say our prayers.  Then, to end the day, are the wonderful hugs and kisses accompanied by the big “Thanks Daddy…I love you!”  It is the perfect ending to the day, right?

On one particular night, during story time, our daughter decided she wanted something that she was not allowed to have.  I gave her a firm “NO” and continued with the story.  She was not amused and tried again, only to be met by the same response: “NO”.  The conflict was over, the story concluded, and I led in prayer.  Now the only thing left were those wonderful words and hugs….but, there was nothing. Our little girl had decided that hugs were not on the menu tonight, just a cold shoulder!!  

So, I tucked her in and went downstairs, only to be surprised at how much that cold shoulder hurt me. I sat down and started to think, and that‘s when God opened my heart to hear His voice, “How many times have you ignored me, my child? How many times have you not thanked me for all that I have done for you? How many times have you not reciprocated the love that I have lavished on you? How much more do you think it hurts me, the same hurt that you feel tonight, the hurt of a father who is ignored by his own child?”


Sticky FingersWow, we can all find ourselves guilty of this same thing, being too busy to pray and taking for granted all that we have been blessed with.  But, leave it up to our incredible God to reveal this to us through those sticky-fingered and runny-nosed children! Thank you God for our children who help us to see your heart and your truth.

By the way, a few minutes later, this toddler came down, climbed up in her daddy’s lap and said, “I love you, Daddy.”  God made sure to end this lesson with a great exclamation point!

Don and Rebecca Sargent

Rebecca Sargent is a pastor’s wife (of 1), mother (of 3), and grandmother (of 3). She has been involved in children’s ministries for over 35 years and has been blessed to care for their severely-handicapped child for 31 years.

Donald Sargent has been serving in the Alliance as a Pastor for 25 years. He has been married for 33 wonderful years, has 3 children (the oldest of which is severely handicapped and they have been blessed to care for him in their home for 32 years). He has 3 grandchildren and loves being 'Bapa'. He is an avid bibliophile and Red Sox fan and is proud to be a word nerd!

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