I don’t like flying insects.  Bees, wasps, hornets.  Not a fan.  Not only not a fan – totally terrified of them.  You know how people always say, “Don’t run away.  Stand still and it won’t sting you.  It will just fly away.”  Yeah.  I don’t care.  My first and MOST OVERWHELMING instinct is to RUN.  To run fast. To run far.  And if someone else is with me?  Well, I just may leave him/her there.  May run OVER him/her.  (Just being real here.)  My fear is so strong that everything else goes out the window.  Often this includes my concern for others.  The times when I have encountered a flying, stinging insect?  Not my finest moments.
This week your children will be learning more about humility – putting others first by giving up what they think they deserve – by looking at what Jesus did on the cross.  And as I was preparing the activities and lessons for this week, I started really thinking about what Jesus was facing the week leading up to his arrest and crucifixion.  I have previously pondered the crown, the humiliation, the pain of the nails piercing his hands and feet.  I had thought a lot about the pain.  But what about the fear?  The time in the garden.  The begging God to “let this cup pass?”  The sweat tinged with blood?  That was fear.
When your kids need a vaccination, do you tell them ahead of time or right before it happens?  There are different schools of thought and different techniques that work with different kids, but I remember the times I DID tell my kids ahead of time.  The looks of terror, the dragging of feet, the begging…the fear.  And my thought to myself that I blew it by giving them too much notice because it allowed them all that time to be afraid and just sit with that fear. I know if I had given my kids the chance to leave – they would have run all the way back home.
Do we as parents teach our kids to face pain?  Or do we teach them to run from difficulty?  From the things that exhaust us, wound us, devastate us?   Our kids see how we respond to pain, difficulties, challenges, whatever the source, and all to often they will do what we do. Not what we say to do.
I don’t know when Jesus first knew he was going to die a horrible death, but at some point, He knew.  And, He was afraid.  However, unlike those of us who go running away from the things that scare us – bees, pain, disappointment, illness, death – He stood still.  But not to AVOID pain.  To feel a pain unimaginable.   All for us.  And I know that, just as I race frantically away from all things that fly and sting, I would have run even faster if faced with the knowledge of torture and crucifixion and the accompanying terror.  Thank you Jesus for being obedient.  Brave.  Humble.  For putting all of us ahead of yourself.   As we walk our kids through this beautiful story of God’s sacrificial love for humanity, my prayer is that HIS strength, HIS sacrifice and HIS humility give US strength when WE need it in the face of fear.
To not run.
To stand still.
Melinda Lamera
Sun Grove Children’s Ministry