My dearest Yohanan,
This is a story of how mommy and daddy learned to read the Bible with you.
You are our Yohanan, the Lord’s mercy and grace, tucked between his faithfulness (Emeth) and steadfast love (Khesed). Your Hebrew names remind us that you are the Lord’s blessing to us.
Our God is a God who speaks. He created the world with words. He speaks to his children. He tells his children who he is because he loves them. Mommy and daddy want you to hear God’s Word from the time you are little. We want you to taste the goodness of God’s Word. We want you to love God’s Word and hide it in your heart.
When Emeth was little like you, we told him stories about God. Emeth loved stories. He lived in stories, and he lived out stories. He was happy to sit on our laps as we told him story after story about the people and places of the Bible.
When you came along, we told you stories about God as well. But you were not very interested in stories. Whenever we tried to read Bible stories to you, you would start wiggling. By the time we got to the second page, you would exclaim, “The end! The end!”
We were not sure what to do.
But we knew you loved numbers. Whenever we drove around the neighborhood, you would read all the numbers on the road signs, and you memorized the addresses of our friends’ houses, grocery stores, the post office, and the library. Mommy and daddy would smile at each other when we heard your little happy voice from the backseat, “Numbers! Numbers are everywhere!”
You gave us an idea. We began to tell you stories about the numbers in the Bible. Though you were not interested in only stories, you were fascinated by the numbers in the stories. Five loaves, two fish, five thousand men, twelve baskets. One hundred sheep, one lost. Six days of creation, one day of rest. Three days, three nights. Three persons, one God.
The more we looked, the more we realized that you were right. Numbers are indeed everywhere.
Mommy decided to write a book for you. We wanted you to know God, not just God’s numbers.
So mommy collected numbers 1 through 12 in the Bible and looked at their patterns and characteristics, just like you enjoy examining the shapes and sizes of each number. Some numbers show ideas that are not usually found in our other picture books, like the Trinity, how we have all disobeyed God, how sometimes sad things happen, how God’s children look like him, and how God will someday take us to his home.
On the day it was finished, mommy called you, gathered your growing arms and legs onto her lap, and read your book to you. “God Counts: Numbers in the Bible. By Mommy. To Yohanan.”
We read the entire book, from the first page all the way to the last. And then you asked mommy to read it again. That made mommy so happy.
Remember, God counts. God counts every hair on your head. God counts every tear you cry. God counts all of your days until you see him face to face, because he loves you.
Mommy and daddy hope to count with you forever. We are learning to pray your favorite prayer: “Dear Lord, thank you for creating numbers. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Counting on God’s love,
Description of the book
God Counts is a book about God told through the numbers in the Bible. Essentially, it is a theology primer for very young children (ages 2 to 5). I sketched some simple drawings and left them in black and white to make it a little easier to print. In our home, it also serves as a coloring book.