My days were brightened by some super cute kids last week. Our grandkids giggled, made up silly games and imagined pretend scenarios. Over and over I thought about Jesus’ command to be like little children before we enter the Kingdom of God.
As I played with Eliza, William and Henry, my worries melted. There’s such freedom in childlikeness.
I walked the loop at Wrightsville Beach with Henry, our sixteen-month-old. I realized I have a lot to learn from him. He smiled and waved to every person and dog. He brought huge grins and greetings from strangers. No one noticed the one pushing the stroller—me.
Jesus’ disciples asked Him who was the greatest in the kingdom of God.
He called a little child and had him stand among them. And He said, “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of God.”Matthew 18:2-4
The Kingdom of God is the rule and reign of God in our lives on earth. It’s such a privilege to experience the life of God today. To enjoy awe and wonder in what God offers us, we need to be humble as young children. How can we learn to be childlike and believe God with abandon?
I’ve noticed these qualities in children:
- They live in the moment. They don’t miss the spider’s egg sack, the weed flowers or the pretty rocks.
- They’re trusting. Whether they jump into a pool or jump from sofa to floor, they’re fearless.
- They don’t worry about tomorrow. Today’s fun is enough.
- Children like everyone. They’re not in competition with other kids. They don’t judge or criticize. They accept people for who they are. Eliza talks glowingly about her friends.
- Children believe in Jesus easily because they embrace what their parents teach them from the Bible.
- They laugh and giggle spontaneously over anything and everything. “Why did the banana go to the doctor? Because it wasn’t ‘peeling’ well!” says William.
- They’re completely honest, and they ask lots of questions. That’s how they gain knowledge.
Children live their lives in enviable freedom. They’re free because they depend on their parents to take care of them. They trust mom and dad for all provisions. They accept their parents’ love and care for them.
Likewise, we’re totally dependent on our Father for sustenance in life. The problem comes when our trust lapses. We begin to independently work out our own lives. I often say, “I can’t do anything without you, Lord.” Simultaneously, I may worry about how I’ll solve my problem. I carry that I should’ve rolled onto Jesus.
At first I believed like a child, but as life went on I became fearful when I experienced disappointments and sorrows. I forgot about simple delights like birdsongs, sunsets and flowers.
We get in ruts and strife; we lose hope. We hold grudges and fail to forgive when we try to manage our lives without our King.
Maybe it’s not too late for us old folks to become like little kids.
- find laughter again and to tell banana jokes
- ask questions
- relish the moment
- be energetic and exuberant
- be joyful in the middle of this sinful world that tries to take the joy right out of us
- share our joy with others
- have a tender conscience
- be playful, creative and imaginative
- walk outside and notice God’s creation— a leaf, flower or bird
- allow hope and trust in God to outweigh fear
- forgive others easily
- love freely without analyzing
- think the best of others
- love through actions
- be friendly to strangers
- be adventurous
Let’s become like children. Let’s trust our Father so we’ll become alive, free and joyful in the Kingdom of God.
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!”1 John 3:1