Like a Little Child


Jesus doesn’t want us to be childish, but rather childlike, trusting Him and acknowledging our weakness and need of Him.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14)

As we look back to the time when our children were little, we never cease to be amazed at how they trusted us. They would leap from high walls into our arms, never for one moment thinking that we might miss them! They would run to us after a fall, never for one moment considering that a kiss on the knee might not “make it better”! One of Martin’s children expected her dad to fly like Superman to fetch the balloon that was rising quickly into the sky!

There is something wonderfully trusting about young children – something we lose as we grow up. Of course, we rationalize it: the world is a hard place; people trample on you if you trust them; things go wrong in life and you get hurt. Or to put it another way, we get hardhearted. But, said Jesus, if you really want to know the Father’s heart, then you’ll become like those little children again.

So what are some of those childlike qualities that God is looking for in us? The first must surely be trust, for trust is foundational to any good relationship. In fact, without trust, there is no relationship; and without trust, the relationship will never grow. So, God our Father wants us to trust Him. Whenever you find that hard, turn to the psalms (like Psalms 23, 46 or 91), for they are packed with declarations of trust to help you.

Another characteristic of young children is weakness. There are things they cannot do. As we get older, few of us like acknowledging there are things we can’t do on our own. But if we truly trust someone, we let them in on the areas where we're weak, and not just the areas where we're strong. True childlike trust says, “This is what I'm really like!” and invites God to come and help.

Jesus doesn’t ask us to be childish; but he certainly asks us to be childlike, trusting him and acknowledging our weakness and need of him. With such people, God can do anything!

Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.        (Psalm 9:10)

Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont

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