1999-08-05 - Like a Child
Mark 10:15-16 "Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it at all. 16 And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands upon them. (NAS)
What is a child like? They are bundles of energy that only stop running around and asking questions when they are totally out of gas and drop off to sleep. They seem to get into everything they're not supposed to whether they know they should or not. They climb trees, dig around in streams and generally run adults ragged just watching them. Some are quieter than others, but they all ask questions and try anything they can get their hands on. It does not matter if this drives you to distraction or puts a big smile on your face to the child. They question and do day in and day out.
Why do they do all this? Because they want to know. They are like enormous dry sponges soaking in anything we will give them. They are driven by a desire to understand the world around them. And when they see something special, that is a priceless moment. Their faces light up like Christmas morning, eyes bulge wide open and mouths first gape almost in disbelief and then smile a smile we adults have often forgotten how to smile. They smile in wonder and amazement. The thrill of the moment of something new like a rainbow, or a bike ride without training wheels for the first time is a powerful thing. The wonder of a child.
What else about children is special? They don't hide a thing. If they are mad, you know it. If they are excited or scared, it is obvious. They accept and return love and care with reckless abandon. My boys almost attack me when I walk through the door in the evening. "Daaaaaaddddddyyy!!!" There are few things in life that are more precious to me.
As we grow older we become more guarded and perhaps a little jaded. We have lived long enough to know that there very bad things in the world to offset the moments of sparkling wonder. We learn that we too are susceptible to sin and its pain. It colors and somehow diminishes the power of those special things that happen to us. When that happens, something is lost.
Rev 21:3-5 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them, 4 and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away." 5 And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." And He said, "Write, for these words are faithful and true." (NAS)
When we receive the kingdom of God, when the Holy Spirit comes to live in our hearts, there almost must be wonder and amazement. The wonder at understanding that God loves us individually and the amazement that you know He has changed you are powerful moments in anyone's life. There is so much to learn about this new life. Death is no longer an enemy and all the pain we held in our hearts from our failures melts away. God has made us new creatures. The old things have truly passed away. When salvation becomes reality in our hearts and minds, childlike wonder often accompanies the moment. When each new facet of God's provision is revealed to us, we are often amazed.
If we don't allow ourselves to be amazed, we are somehow cheating ourselves in guarding our hearts and checking our emotions. A friend calls and tells you they're expecting a baby. Just because it happens 100,000 times a day does not mean it is any less a miracle. Let yourself be joyful. You son or daughter, niece or nephew brings home a great report card. Make a big deal of it. Get a little excited. It's okay. Without a little abandon to joy and excitement, all that is left is the mundane at best. Be faithful with these little things, and you will be entrusted with bigger things.
When we can be excited and find joy in things, the people around us just might wonder what we have that they want. Maybe they can find the joy of salvation that you know. We may put away childish thinking, but there is a reward in the joy of a child.
1 Cor 13:12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known. (NAS)
Lord Jesus - help us to let go and learn to find the joy in little things. You have given us these moments as part of Your providence and care. Open our eyes to see the grace and mercy that has been given to us, poured out in waves so that we can know a little awe in Your power used on our behalf. Amen.