It was 1991 and the wind was in my hair as I raced around the trailer park ,on my bike with my brothers. I can remember laughing nervously at the thought of them behind me as I peddled faster and faster to try to beat them home. Life as a child was thrilling, vibrant, and new. Everyday was a chance to learn something new and see something for the first time with awe-struck wonder.
“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 heaven.” – Matthew 18:3-4
The other day Andrew and I talked about buying beach cruisers and I smiled at the thought of him chasing me as we’d race to the beach. Being an adult can be fun too; if we allow it to be! But if you were anything like me, I was 13 going on 30. There were many years when I just wanted to be treated as an adult, to act like one and be respected as one. But now that I’m 26, I want nothing more than to slow down time and be young again.
The above scripture reminds us that we don’t have to be children to view this world with wonder but to simply change our mindset and become humble. However, let us not be confused. We can have child-like faith but we must be mature with our God-given gifts. Maturity + humility go hand in hand.
Let me break this down for better understanding:
Childlike faith trusts (God’s plan no matter what)
Childlike faith knows no bounds (with God all things are possible)
Childlike faith listens to what is said and believes it (with all its heart)
Childish faith is disobedient (and purposely defies God)
Childish faith is selfish (with gifts and love)
Childish faith throws tantrums when it doesn’t get what it wants. (no explanation needed)
As an adult (or even when I was trying to act like one) I believed with all my heart that I knew what was best for me. And in order to get what I wanted I had to go after it myself. I racked up credit cards to pay for adult things. I bought a car and agreed to an insanely high interest rate, because adults don’t have co-signers. And then I would fuss and complain when I could hardly pay for the adult life I purchased. I was neither mature, nor wise and that didn’t settle well with my ego.
Accepting God into my heart, a little over 2 years ago, was painfully hard. Because I was 24 and I was an adult. Asking God for help, for deliverance, for guidance was brutal. Adults don’t need help, especially me! I was supposed to know everything already! But slowly but surely, I knew I was incapable of many things, so I would ask God for help in an area of my life but not all of them. I mean, I needed some sort of control. I didn’t know what it was like not being in the driver’s seat! But control wasn’t what I needed, humbling was and God knew that.
“For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.” – Matthew 16:25
Surrendering my life to God was the best thing I ever did. I put aside my ego and my pride and finally asked for help. We can not see what He sees. All we have a view of is this very moment. But He sees the beginning and end. He knows what we need and He will help us, if only we ask Him. Maybe its time for you to lose control, to release your grip on what it is that you think defines you or adds value to you. Once we lose ourselves, we will find our true identity in Christ and receive the kingdom like children, just how He wants us too.