Thursday, January 4, 2007

Study to Be Like a Child

I doubt there is a university in the world that offers courses in how to become like a child….. and yet Jesus taught in Matt. 18:3 that unless we become like a little child we cannot enter the kingdom of God. An upside down philosophy if judged by the expectations or standards of this world, but in the final scheme of things - where God has the final word -, it is this world that is upside down and God’s kingdom that is rightside up !

We are born into this physical world a child and immediately begin our education to ‘grow-up’ into mature adults. Most of us are born into God’s kingdom ‘mature’ in a physical sense but God commands us to again become like children.
Nothing has shown me the wisdom of God’s directive more than my becoming a grandmother. How my grandchildren have delighted my heart and even though I am proud and happy to see them mature and grow up…. some of my fondest memories are from when they were small and innocent and I had an exclusively privileged place in the center of their little world..

In Hebrews we are told that without ‘faith’ it is impossible to please God. Bible faith is simple childlike trust. And how evident that is in children. How deeply they trust their loving parents and caregivers. What they are told they believe …. When my oldest granddaughter was very little I would tell her that she was Nanna’s angel. One day when her paternal grandparents were also visiting with us…. her grandmother made a comment about her being her angel too. Elise was emphatic in her protest … “NO!! , Nanna’s angel.” (A twist on the phrase “first come, first serve” ! ).. The first perspective of a truth presented to a child becomes his/her standard by which all else is judged. If only we could be so ‘childlike’, that anything God says becomes the indisputable truth by which we judge all else to stand or fall.

Children have not yet learned to be skeptical…. and so what they learn is easily and naturally applied to their daily life. I was looking through some old e-mails and I came across one my daughter sent me when my youngest granddaughter, Elora, was 6. Here in my daughter’s words is what transpired ...

While tucking Elora into bed this is what she said..... (I had just finished reading to the girls about Elijah raising the widow's son from the dead)
"Mom, I have that kind of faith. Today during the Talent Show (an assembly at school) I had to go to the bathroom but I was too shy to ask. I prayed and God gave me the stuff.”
Elise says "Stuff?!?!? What do you mean?"
Elora - “Ummmm.... well I got up and asked my teacher if I could go to the bathroom and I wasn't shy anymore”
Mom says "Oh, do you mean courage?"
Elora replies ,”Ya that's it. Wasn't that cool?"

Childlike faith does not grapple with all the difficulties we embrace as adults … We question, we doubt, we worry, we are ruled by laws of science and human probability , but a child simply trusts that God IS God and of course He hears and sees and nothing is impossible for Him. Oh , to grow in that kind of faith in God. To trust Him no matter what …. Habakkuk had this kind of trust. He declares with childlike abandonment ….. “Although the fig tree shall not blossom…. yet will I rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” (Habakkuk 3:17,18)

No comments: