Some words seem to have a different meaning for kids than they do for adults. One of those words is “LOST.”
Getting lost means a lot of different things to grown-ups.
- If grown-ups don’t know where we are, we say we’re lost.
- If we don’t know where we’re going, we say we’re lost.
- If we don’t know how to get where we want to go, we say we’re lost.
- If we don’t know what to do next, we might say we’re lost.
- If we don’t understand something complicated, we say we’re lost.
- If we don’t have any self-confidence, we might say we are lost.
To a small child, being lost doesn’t mean all those things.
- If a small child doesn’t know how to get somewhere, she doesn’t care. Someone else will take her there.
- If a young child doesn’t know where he is, he’s not worried, as long as he is with someone he trusts.
- A child who is lost doesn’t ask, “Where am I?” but he might ask, “Where’s Mommy?”
I was talking with one of my adult daughters about this, and she asked me if she had ever been lost when she was little. I told her there were times when she thought she was lost, because she wandered off and she couldn’t see us, but her dad or I were watching her and we knew where she was.
Maybe to a little child, being lost means you lose sight of someone you love and trust.
When children can’t see someone, they assume others can’t see them either. That’s why Hide-and-Seek with small children can look like this. Our daughter was “hiding” in this picture.
When things around you are hard, when you’re feeling sad or scared, or if you’ve ever asked yourself, “Where is God?” you might feel like you are lost. But even when you don’t see God, God knows where you are. Maybe you’re not as lost as you think you are.
It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.Deuteronomy 31:8 English Standard Version (ESV)