Question of the week: What will you say when a little child says to you, “I can’t feel God today?”


Many times down through the years, I’ve had children ask questions about God. When children’s parents are going through a divorce, surprisingly, many young children don’t question God’s existence. They question why God doesn’t stop the divorce or make Mommy come back home.

Many children play the “what if” game:  

  • What if I had taken the trash out when Dad told me to? He might still be here.   
  • What if I had cleaned my room when Mom said to? Maybe she wouldn’t have left.

Many children try to bargain with God:  

  • God, I’ll be real good, and I’ll take out the trash if You will just bring my daddy back home.
  • God, I’m going to make really good grades, so my mom will proud of me. Will you make her proud of me?

The kid who couldn’t feel God

The other day, I got a Facebook message from a teacher, who wrote:

Then, there was this one kid who came in sad, saying he could not feel God today.

This was a child whose mother had left the home. He thought his mom wanted nothing to do with the family. There were four children in this family, and my teacher friend reported that the dad was doing an amazing job of holding things together.

Stop for a minute, and just imagine a sad, little boy quietly saying, “I can’t feel God today.”

How wonderful that the teacher had formed a close enough relationship that the child felt comfortable sharing his feelings with her. I wonder if some of us in churches have developed relationships deep enough for children of divorce to share their deepest hurts and thoughts with us.

My teacher friend reminded her little friend that God is always there to talk to. She allowed him to find a quiet place. When she looked over a short while later, he was kneeling by the window, praying. When she talked with him later in the day, he said he could feel God’s love again.

She told him that was good and that she had prayed for God to wrap him so tight with His love that he could feel it in his heart. Wow! Imagine how that must have impacted this little child.

Can we do anything less for the kids in our churches who reach out to us for comfort?

What will you say when a little child says to you, “I can’t feel God today”?


This article is updated and adapted from an article originally published on the Kids & Divorce blog on March 10, 2014.

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