Several years ago, in one of the places I served as pastor, I witnessed one of the saddest stories.
I had started my position at a church and began to get to know the people. There was an elderly gentleman, about 75 years old, who had invited me to stop by his home for a visit.
His son had been helping out in the tech ministry so that’s why he started attending this particular church. During our conversation I asked him about his relationship with God and whether or not He had become a follower of Jesus Christ. His answer was, “Pastor I can’t ever be a Christian because God has rejected me; Let me tell you my story”.
He told me that his family went to church regularly when he was growing up, but it wasn’t until he was 9 years old that his father made a commitment to follow Jesus. One Sunday morning the preacher gave the invitation, and his dad went forward. He thought, if my dad wants to serve Jesus so do I, so he walked forward with him. When he got to the front, the preacher leaned down and whispered to this young man the following words, “son, you’re too young to understand so just go back to your seat”.
This elderly gentleman I was talking to said, “That was the day God rejected me, so I have not wasted my time trying to ask God to help me since”.
What was so sad is the fact that he actually believed that God had rejected him for 66 years. There is a silver lining to this story. I was able to lead this man to Jesus that day and through the help of the Holy Spirit, convince him that he did matter to his heavenly Father.
It reminds me of the scripture in Mark 10:13-14 where it states, “People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.’” So, let’s do our part in leading children within our sphere of influence to follow Jesus and never discourage them from doing so.