So my 4-year-old injured herself yesterday.  I have accepted that she may be our “ER child.”  You know, the one always getting injured, always requiring a doctor, necessitating visits to the ER.  In April she fell off her bike and suffered a ‘buckle fracture’ on her right wrist.  Well, yesterday while she was helping me roll out pretzel dough, she leaned too far and caused her chair to slip from underneath her.  She went down with a loud crash, fracturing her other wrist.  Same deal, other side.

Poor kid.

She’s a champ though.  She did well with the X-rays, although she’s a veteran at that by now.  Tomorrow we get her arm cast.  Dark purple is her color of choice this time around.

So, she went down with a crash and said her arm hurt.  I’m never one to overreact.  If anything, I’m guilty of under-reacting.  Initially unconvinced that this was anything major, and with toddler mouths to feed (it was lunch time), and half a batch of pretzels already in the oven, I had her sit on the couch with some ice on her arm.

I went back and forth between her and the kitchen for a while as I boiled and salted the next batch of pretzels, and removed the cooked ones from the oven.  I set up #2 and #3 at the kitchen table with their food, as the monkeys were getting restless, and snuggled up next to Abigail, stroking her hair.

I figured this is a good a time as any to give her some theology, and start to cement in her mind a doctrine of suffering.  The last thing I wanted from this scenario was for her to think that God was mad at her, was punishing her for something or that God was somehow absent and unable to stop her fall…all of which are just plain wrong.

To my astonishment, she schooled me a bit.

I started with the reminder that God loves her.  I wanted that to be crystal clear in her mind.  No matter what happens, good or bad, God still loves her, and even when bad things happened, those things are BECAUSE He loves her, because it helps her become more like Jesus.

So I asked, ‘you know God loves you right?’

‘yes,’ was her reply, in her whimpering voice.

‘You believe that, right?  Even though you got hurt, you believe God loves you, right?’

And here was her reply…so simple, yet so profound:

‘I don’t believe it, I know it.’

POW!  What a statement.  What a great statement from a 4-year-old.  What a childlike faith, so sure of God’s love, even with a broken arm, for the second time.

How often do we Christians speak about our belief, yet fail to speak about the reality we KNOW.  It may seem like a small difference, but I think it’s a big difference.

We all have beliefs.  Everyone believes something, and everyone likes to talk about how you can believe what you want to believe and I can believe what I want to believe.  But what about when it is beyond belief, into knowledge?

Isn’t that what we have as Christians?

Sure, we believe.  The Bible talks about belief and faith, but I have been walking with the Lord for 8 years now; my faith is beyond a belief.  I have seen God’s faithfulness in my life, I have seen how he was quieted my sometimes out of control temper, has changed my innate harshness towards others, my unloving, uncaring attitude towards many people.  I don’t just believe that He is, I also know that He is.

I know that He is who He says He is because of the evidence in my life.  And that evidence isn’t always visible to others.  My outside was pretty clean compared to most before Christ redeemed me, but my inside (the thoughts and intentions of my heart) were filthy, horrid, wicked.

Many look at the Bible and dismiss it with a snarl because they simply ‘don’t believe the Bible.’  There are many evidences of the Bible being true and accurate, but for someone who has already made up their mind, they will find ways to ignore those evidences.  They don’t believe it, and that’s that.

Imagine a house with a wood burning stove, and a 6-year-old boy.  The caring father takes his son to the stove and explains to him that it is hot and he is not to touch it, as he would be burned.  The boy affirms that he understands.  He believes his father and believes that the stove is hot.  But how long do you think it would be before his curiosity takes over?  Finally, the boy – just to be sure – reaches out and touches that stove, and indeed burns his hand.  His knowledge of the hot stove went from a belief to a knowledge.  He no longer believes, he now knows, because he has experiences the heat.  You could argue until you’re blue in the face, you could never convince the child otherwise.

The same is true for the Christian.  There are many in this country who mentally assent to a belief in God, and even call themselves Christians, but have never experiences His power in the form of conversion.  But for one who has been converted by God’s power, that person has seen and experienced God in a way that words fail to explain.  For a true Christian, they can say with all sincerity of heart that they know there is a God and they know Him.

So, I wonder, next time I am asked about my belief, will I have the boldness of my 4-year-old to say ‘I don’t believe, I know?’