Thursday, April 4, 2013

Returning to Childlike Faith

13 People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them. Mark 10: 13-16

Have you ever observed a young child. I mean really observed them without interrupting their natural process of being a child? One of the blessings I have in being a preschool teacher is the ability to sit and observe these little people. In fact, I must observe them often to see if what we are doing is functioning well and worth while or if we need to switch gears. While this is not the place or the time to share as to why, I truly believe a situation in my young childhood robbed me of this trust ~ and child like faith out of fear. I was taught fear very early. Too early. Fear is NOT from God, and it is NOT natural ~ that is why when you are in fear, it is stressful, painful even. And fear, it hinders you in all sorts of way. Sadly, it starts a chain reaction of doubt, despair, often distrust, and continues from their. I truly believe fear is different from reverence and respect. No one should live with fear ~ no one.

Children are often very carefree. They find good in a lot of things very easily, without much work. They love to speak words of encouragement to one another, and to make an appearance when they enter a room. They dance freely, sing loudly, and enjoy every minute of it. Sadly, I have seen some children who are guarded, and while I know God makes us all different ~ it often comes from having to hide who they are to please someone. All children WANT to do is to please their parents, and other adults. In fact, I have observed children going to sleep for rest time after a rough morning, yet wake up with a smile, a hug and all has been forgiven and forgotten. In short, they DO NOT hold a grudge. In fact, in most cases all the child ever wants to hear when they are hurt is "I'm sorry".. and for them it's over and all is well again.

Children do not worry about the the necessities of the day. They do not worry about what to wear, if they are going to eat, if the water is going to run when they turn the sink on, or if lights will come on when they flip a switch. They have faith that these things will come. How many times do WE worry as adults about these things? We are called to give these things to God ~ to yes, work and do our part, but more importantly to cast all our cares on Him. Why? Because if we cast the little things we will trust enough to cast the big things. I have found through fellowshiping with many "Christians" that often we only go to God when something BIG is going on, but we don't want to bother Him with the little day to day things.

13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. 1 John 5:13-15

Let's take a look at what children focus on:
1. They do not naturally focus on their mistakes. Simply put, they do not spend HOURS thinking of what they are doing wrong and what they could be doing better. They pick themselves up and move forward. If they do develop this habit it is often because either a parent or caregiver has focused on this, and basically taught them how to do this. It is NOT natural! They do not know how to "self analyze" and do not spend hours doing so.

2. They focus on what's important at that very moment. While most children want to know what's going to happen next, they are able to NOT be so concerned with what's next that they can't enjoy what's now.

3. They do not dwell on their mistakes. They giggle about them (or even take a moment to stew about it) and then.... guess what?! They are over it! Most children will try not to do the same thing again, others it takes a few times until it finally sinks in that a) they are not going to get away with it and b) it's not fun to keep getting in trouble.

4. Children just want to be loved. By friends. By adults. By everyone. And guess what?! They naturally love themselves, and want to please others out of that love.

In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. 1 John 5:3-5


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