Children and the Future
Here are some encouraging words for parents, especially faithful mothers.
BRINGING THE CHILDREN TO JESUS NOW "One mother with her child had left her home to find Jesus. On the way she told a neighbor her errand, and the neighbor wanted to have Jesus bless her children. Thus several mothers came together, with their little ones. Some of the children had passed beyond the years of infancy to childhood and youth. When the mothers made known their desire, Jesus heard with sympathy the timid, tearful request. But He waited to see how the disciples would treat them. When He saw them send the mothers away, thinking to do Him a favor, He showed them their error, saying, Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. He took the children in His arms, He laid His hands upon them, and gave them the blessing for which they came.
"The mothers were comforted. They returned to their homes strengthened and blessed by the words of Christ. They were encouraged to take up their burden with new cheerfulness, and to work hopefully for their children. The mothers of today are to receive His words with the same faith. Christ is as verily a personal Saviour today as when He lived a man among men. He is as verily the helper of mothers today as when He gathered the little ones to His arms in Judea. The children of our hearths are as much the purchase of His blood as were the children of long ago.
"Jesus knows the burden of every mothers heart. He who had a mother that struggled with poverty and privation sympathizes with every mother in her labors. He who made a long journey in order to relieve the anxious heart of a Canaanite woman will do as much for the mothers of today. He who gave back to the widow of Nain her only son, and who in His agony upon the cross remembered His own mother, is touched today by the mothers sorrow. In every grief and every need He will give comfort and help.
"Let mothers come to Jesus with their perplexities. They will find grace sufficient to aid them in the management of their children. The gates are open for every mother who would lay her burdens at the Saviour's feet. He who said, Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not, still invites the mothers to lead up their little ones to be blessed by Him. Even the babe in its mothers arms may dwell as under the shadow of the Almighty through the faith of the praying mother. John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit from his birth. If we will live in communion with God, we too may expect the divine Spirit to mold our little ones, even from their earliest moments.
"In the children who were brought in contact with Him, Jesus saw the men and women who should be heirs of His grace and subjects of His kingdom, and some of whom would become martyrs for His sake.
"He knew that these children would listen to Him and accept Him as their Redeemer far more readily than would grown-up people, many of whom were the worldly-wise and hardhearted. In His teaching He came down to their level. He, the Majesty of heaven, did not disdain to answer their questions, and simplify His important lessons to meet their childish understanding. He planted in their minds the seeds of truth, which in after years would spring up, and bear fruit unto eternal life.
"It is still true that children are the most susceptible to the teachings of the gospel; their hearts are open to divine influences, and strong to retain the lessons received. The little children may be Christians, having an experience in accordance with their years. They need to be educated in spiritual things, and parents should give them every advantage, that they may form characters after the similitude of the character of Christ.
"Fathers and mothers should look upon their children as younger members of the Lords family, committed to them to educate for heaven. The lessons that we ourselves learn from Christ we should give to our children, as the young minds can receive them, little by little opening to them the beauty of the principles of heaven. Thus the Christian home becomes a school, where the parents serve as underteachers, while Christ Himself is the chief instructor.
"In working for the conversion of our children, we should not look for violent emotion as the essential evidence of conviction of sin. Nor is it necessary to know the exact time when they are converted. We should teach them to bring their sins to Jesus, asking His forgiveness, and believing that He pardons and receives them as He received the children when He was personally on earth.
"As the mother teaches her children to obey her because they love her, she is teaching them the first lessons in the Christian life. The mothers love represents to the child the love of Christ, and the little ones who trust and obey their mother are learning to trust and obey the Saviour." Desire of Ages, 511-515.
TO THEIR MOTHERS ARMS "The living righteous are changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. At the voice of God they were glorified; now they are made immortal and with the risen saints are caught up to meet their Lord in the air. Angels gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Little children are borne by holy angels to their mothers arms. Friends long separated by death are united, nevermore to part, and with songs of gladness ascend together to the City of God.
"On each side of the cloudy chariot are wings, and beneath it are living wheels; and as the chariot rolls upward, the wheels cry, Holy, and the wings, as they move, cry, Holy, and the retinue of angels cry, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty. And the redeemed shout, Alleluia! as the chariot moves onward toward the New Jerusalem." Great Controversy, 645.
COMFORTING A MOTHER ON THE DEATH OF HER CHILD "As you relate your experience in the death of your child, and how you bowed in prayer, submitting your will to the will of your heavenly Father, leaving the matter with Him, my mother heart is touched. I have passed through an experience similar to the experience through which you have just passed.
"When my eldest son was sixteen years old, he was stricken down in sickness. His case was considered critical, and he called us to his bedside, and said, Father, Mother, it will be hard for you to part with your eldest son. If the Lord sees fit to spare my life, for your sake I will be pleased. If it is for my good and His names glory for my life to close now, I will say, It is well with my soul. Father, go by yourself, and Mother, go by yourself and pray. Then you will receive an answer according to the will of my Saviour, whom you love and I love. He was afraid that if we should bow together, our sympathies would strengthen, and we would ask for that which it would not be best for the Lord to grant.
"We did as he requested, and our prayers were similar in every point to the prayers you offered. We received no evidence that our son would recover. He died, putting his full trust in Jesus our Saviour. His death was a great blow to us, but it was a victory even in death; for his life was hid with Christ in God.
"Before the death of my eldest boy, my babe was sick unto death. We prayed, and thought that the Lord would spare us our darling; but we closed his eyes in death, and laid him away to rest in Jesus, until the Life-giver shall come to awaken His precious loved ones to a glorious immortality.
"Then my husband, the faithful servant of Jesus Christ, who had stood by my side for thirty-six years, was taken from me, and I was left to labor alone. He sleeps in Jesus. I have no tears to shed over his grave. But how I miss him! How I long for his words of counsel and wisdom! How I long to hear his prayers blending with my prayers for light and guidance, for wisdom to know how to plan and lay out the work!
"But the Lord has been my Counselor, and the Lord will give you grace to bear your bereavement."2 Selected Messages, 258-259.
MANY LITTLE ONES WILL BE LAID AWAY "You inquire in regard to your little one being saved. Christ's words are your answer: Suffer little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God (Luke 18:16).
"Remember the prophecy, Thus saith the Lord; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel weeping for her children refused to be comforted . . Thus saith the Lord; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the Lord; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy. And there is hope in thine end, saith the Lord, that thy children shall come again to their own border (Jer. 31:15-17).
"This promise is yours. You may be comforted and trust in the Lord. The Lord has often instructed me that many little ones are to be laid away before the time of trouble. We shall see our children again. We shall meet them and know them in the heavenly courts. Put your trust in the Lord, and be not afraid." Letter 196, 1899; 2 Selected Messages, 259.
WRITTEN WHEN THE CHILD OF ELLEN WHITES TWIN SISTER DIED "Our fondest hopes are often blighted here. Our loved ones are torn from us by death. We close their eyes and habit them for the tomb, and lay them away from our sight. But hope bears our spirits up. We are not parted forever, but shall meet the loved ones who sleep in Jesus. They shall come again from the land of the enemy. The Life-giver is coming. Myriads of holy angels escort Him on His way. He bursts the bands of death, breaks the fetters of the tomb, the precious captives come forth in health and immortal beauty.
"As the little infants come forth immortal from their dusty beds, they immediately wing their way to their mothers arms. They meet again nevermore to part. But many of the little ones have no mother there. We listen in vain for the rapturous song of triumph from the mother. The angels receive the motherless infants and conduct them to the tree of life.
"Jesus places the golden ring of light, the crown upon their little heads. God grant that the dear mother of Eva may be there, that her little wings may be folded upon the glad bosom of her mother." Youths Instructor, April, 1858; 2 Selected Messages, 259-260.
WRITTEN TO PARENTS WHO HAD LOST CHILDREN AT SEA "I have thought of you many, many times . .
"The comforts of the Scriptures are very great; they abound in consolations to the afflicted and bereaved, the sick and the suffering. I seem to see Jesus saying to you, Father and Mother D, Lean on Me, lean hard. I will bear you up. My arm shall never fail you. It shall be strong to support you over all the rough and difficult places. Only make Me your trust and you shall be guided safely and upheld firmly.
"Oh, the precious Bible, its truths are full of marrow and fatness. We may consider and rejoice in the light of the promises. They are the gracious utterances of an infinite God. His voice is speaking to us out of His Word. I hope you are of good courage.
"This affliction that has come to you, you may not be able to explain. Everything may remain in impenetrable mystery until the sea shall give up her dead. But let not your heart bow down in sorrow, for they are the Lords property and He will do what He will with His own. This we know, that His love is greater than ours possibly can be, and Jesus so loved them that He gave His life to redeem them; then let them rest, and let your heart go out more decidedly after Jesus to supply every soul hunger, every want . .
"Whatever may be your circumstances, however dark and mysterious may be the ways of Providence, though the path may be through the deep waters, and trials and bereavements may afflict again and again, the assurance still comes, All things work together for good to them that love God (Rom. 8:28). I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day (2 Tim. 1:12)."Letter 32, 1893; 2 Selected Messages, 260-261.
TO THE LOST PARADISE "From the day when the first pair turned their sorrowing steps from Eden, the children of faith have waited the coming of the Promised One to break the destroyers power and bring them again to the lost Paradise." Great Controversy, 299; Child Guidance, 566-567.
BEAR TRIALS WITH PATIENCE "Heaven will be cheap enough if we obtain it through suffering . . As I saw what we must be in order to inherit glory, and then saw how much Jesus had suffered to obtain for us so rich an inheritance, I prayed that we might be baptized into Christ's sufferings, that we might not shrink at trials, but bear them with patience and joy, knowing what Jesus had suffered that we through His poverty and sufferings might be made rich." Early Writings, 67.
HEAVEN IS WORTH EVERYTHING "Heaven is worth everything to us. We must not run any risk in this matter. We must take no venture here. We must know that our steps are ordered by the Lord. May God help us in the great work of overcoming. He has crowns for those that overcome. He has white robes for the righteous. He has an eternal world of glory for those who seek for glory, honor, and immortality. Everyone who enters the City of God will enter it as a conqueror. He will not enter it as a condemned criminal, but as a son of God. And the welcome given to everyone who enters there will be, Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. Matthew 25:34."Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 149: Child Guidance, 567.
POWER TO INFLUENCE OTHERS "Now the church is militant. Now we are confronted with a world in darkness, almost wholly given over to idolatry. But the day is coming when the battle will have been fought, the victory won. The will of God is to be done on earth as it is done in heaven . . All will be a happy, united family, clothed with the garments of praise and thanksgiving--the robe of Christ's righteousness. All nature, in its surpassing loveliness, will offer to God a tribute of praise and adoration. The world will be bathed in the light of heaven. The light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold greater than it is now. The years will move on in gladness. Over the scene the morning stars will sing together, and the sons of God will shout for joy, while God and Christ will unite in proclaiming, There shall be no more sin, neither shall there be any more death.
"These visions of future glory, scenes pictured by the hand of God, should be dear to His children . . We need to keep ever before us this vision of things unseen. It is thus that we shall be able to set a right value on the things of eternity and the things of time. It is this that will give us power to influence others for the higher life." Ministry of Healing, 504, 506, 508.
FAITHFULNESS HAS UNSEALED SPRINGS OF BLESSING "All who have wrought with unselfish spirit will behold the fruit of their labors. The outworking of every right principle and noble deed will be seen. Something of this we see here. But how little of the result of the worlds noblest work is in this life manifest to the doer! How many toil unselfishly and unweariedly for those who pass beyond their reach and knowledge! Parents and teachers lie down in their last sleep, their lifework seeming to have been wrought in vain; they know not that their faithfulness has unsealed springs of blessing that can never cease to flow; only by faith they see the children they have trained become a benediction and an inspiration to their fellow men, and the influence repeat itself a thousandfold . .
"Men sow the seed from which, above their graves, others reap blessed harvests. They plant trees that others may eat the fruit. They are content here to know that they have set in motion agencies for good. In the hereafter the action and reaction of all these will be seen." Education, 305-306.
A RELINKING OF THE FAMILY CHAIN "Jesus is coming, coming with clouds and great glory. A multitude of shining angels will attend Him. He will come to honor those who have loved Him and kept His commandments, and to take them to Himself. He has not forgotten them or His promise. There will be a relinking of the family chain. "Review, November 22, 1906; Child Guidance, 565.
WATCHFULNESS OVER THEM HAS BEEN BLESSED OF GOD "God has permitted light from His throne to shine all along the path of life. A pillar of cloud by day, a pillar of fire by night, is moving before us as before ancient Israel. It is the privilege of Christian parents today, as it was the privilege of Gods people of old, to bring their children with them to the Promised Land (Signs, Nov. 24, 8881).
"You want a household for God; you want your family for God. You want to take them up to the gates of the city and say, Here am I, Lord, and the children that Thou hast given me. They may be men and women that have grown to manhood and womanhood, but they are your children all the same; and your educating, and your watchfulness over them has been blessed of God, till they stand as overcomers. Now you can say, Here am I, Lord, and the children (Manuscript 49, 1894). "Child Guidance, 565.
JOY OF SEEING YOUR EFFORTS REWARDED "We see a retinue of angels on either side of the gate; and as we pass in, Jesus speaks, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom that is prepared for you from the foundation of the world. Here He tells you to be a partaker of His joy, and what is that? It is the joy of seeing of the travail of your soul, fathers. It is the joy of seeing that your efforts, mothers, are rewarded. Here are your children; the crown of life is upon their heads, and the angels of God immortalize the names of the mothers whose efforts have won their children to Jesus Christ." Manuscript 12, 1895; Child Guidance, 567-568.
SHE MADE ME ALL I AM "When the judgment shall sit, and the books shall be opened; when the well done of the great Judge is pronounced, and the crown of immortal glory is placed upon the brow of the victor, many will raise their crowns in sight of the assembled universe and, pointing to their mother, say, She made me all I am through the grace of God. Her instruction, her prayers, have been blessed to my eternal salvation. "Messages to Young People, 330.
WITH JOY UNUTTERABLE, PARENTS SEE "Another class stand pale and trembling, trusting in Christ, and yet oppressed with a sense of their own unworthiness. They hear with tears of joy and gratitude the Masters commendation. The days of incessant toil, of burden bearing, and of fear and anguish are forgotten as that voice, sweeter than the music of angel harps, pronounces the words, Well done, good and faithful servant, enter ye into the joy of your Lord. There stand the host of the redeemed, the palm branch of victory in their hand, the crown upon their head. These are the ones who by faithful, earnest labor have obtained a fitness for heaven. The lifework performed on earth is acknowledged in the heavenly courts as a work well done.
"With joy unutterable, parents see the crown, the robe, the harp, given to their children. The days of hope and fear are ended. The seed sown with tears and prayers may have seemed to be sown in vain, but their harvest is reaped with joy at last. Their children have been redeemed. Fathers, mothers, shall the voices of your children swell the song of gladness in that day?"Signs, July 1, 1886; Child Guidance, 569.