Mark 9:36-37 (ESV)
36 And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”
Wess Stafford was raised in rural West Africa, the son of missionaries. He grew to love the African people. While witnessing poverty firsthand, he watched many of his friends die of easily-treatable diseases. Wess’ childhood was a difficult one due to the abuse and hardship he endured at a boarding school. He recounts being beaten 17 times a week on average during those years. The abuse was horrendous and went on for several years.
The abuse and hardships provided Wess with a heart for the most vulnerable of children, a passion that would benefit many. He served as the president of Compassion International from 1993-2013 and helped release children from poverty in Jesus’ name.
"Every child you encounter is a divine appointment." – Wess Stafford
We read that Jesus valued His interactions with children as well. Throughout His ministry, Jesus highlighted the value of a child. In fact, Jesus said that when we welcome a child, we welcome Him. Young ones are often void of pride, hypocrisy and haughtiness. Instead they are teachable and humble. They are indeed a divine appointment!
How would our lives be different if we lived with Stafford’s quote in mind. Instead of seeing children (our own or others) as a distraction or an inconvenience, what if we view them as a divine appointment?
“Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these’”.
Let’s follow Jesus’ example and pour into the life of a child today.
Dear Lord, Thanks You for the children that are all around us. Help us to not look at them as distractions but as a divine appointment form You to make a difference in their life. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.