The Carpet-Square Crowd

Jesus said, “I am with you for only a short time, and then I am going to the one who sent me.” (John 7:33, NIV)

Spending time with children is the joy of my heart—sitting with them among the carpet squares, sharing stories with light-hearted laughter, and learning about our great God together. Prayer time gives me a glimpse into the fears and burdens that weigh heavy on their hearts. “Grandpa’s sick.” “I’m afraid of the dark.”

It’s a privilege to introduce the carpet-square crowd to our loving heavenly Father who cares and listens to our prayers. Woven through the Old Testament stories is His familiar promise, “I am with you”—to Isaac in the midst of famine (Genesis 26:24), to Jacob as he travels through the land (Genesis 28:15), to Joshua as they cross the Jordan (Joshua 3:7), to young Jeremiah as he speaks for God (Jeremiah 1:8), and in countless other stories.

But the most beloved “I am with you” story unfolds when God sends His Son to go and be with His people—Son of God made man wrapped in swaddling cloths. Because the Father chose to send His Son as a baby, Jesus can sympathize with us in all of our developmental stages, from infancy to adulthood (Luke 2:52).

As He walked among us, Jesus experienced hard and happy things. He knew our fragile needs and was moved with compassion (Matthew 9:36). Jesus loved us and ultimately conquered death so that we might go and be with Him forever.

Jesus told the disciples, “I am with you for only a short time, and then I am going to the one who sent me” (John 7:33). He commissioned us to “Go” make disciples, giving us the promise “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:19–20).

He left us behind to sit on carpet squares—to be with His people, to share stories and laughter, to comfort them in ways we’ve been comforted (2 Corinthians 1:4). It is our privilege to introduce them to our loving heavenly Father and to His Son, Jesus.

This Christmas and throughout the year, young or old, we are all part of the carpet-square crowd that needs to be comforted with God’s promise—“I am with you.”