Friday, January 11, 2008

Discovering Child-like Faith

"At the time the disciples came to Jesus saying, 'Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?' And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, 'Truly I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.'"
~Matthew 18:1-4

Tonight, I before I came upstairs to begin the night-ending process, I saw a picture of me as a young child. I saw the twinkle of laughter in my eyes at ages four and smiled. Recently it has come to my attention that I over-analyze, over-talk and over-agonize over issues. A heaviness exists. And after thinking, praying, seeking counsel, and looking at scripture, I think I'm beginning to understand why a faith of a little matters so much. Look at a child. Notice the behavior of the child when at play. She goes about her daily life, unconcerned with the future, unconcerned with what people think. She just plays. She laughs, dances, sings really loud, and goes on about her life. When she falls, she cries.  She doesn't take 20 minutes to explain why she's crying, why she's upset. All she knows is that she's hurt and needs attention. 

I translate this to my own life. Often times, I get wrapped up in trying to "figure out" stuff. Do you know what I mean? I'm sad, so I spend time both with friends and others trying to get this grasp on why. And if I can't figure it out, I agonize and worry. Same thing even goes with happiness or emotional excitement. This heavy process could really be quite light if I listened to the words of my Savior. "Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest."  Note that it does not say "Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy laden and explain yourself."  And I watch how this reflects on my relationships. Its so wonderful to have friends with whom you can hash things out and discover what the Lord is showing you. But imagine, when someone calls and asks about your day...each time, giving a 15-minute response about every minute detail, as if you gained some control over it by verbalizing it. Heavy, right? This is not how we were made to be!

One of the sweet elements of children is the trust that stems from dependency. You can see how this wanes as years progress and independency is discovered. Eventually, trust is soon demanded, not given. If I truly understand that I am absolutely nothing without my God, there is this trust in Him to define me, hold me strong, and walk with me through trials.I need Him too. Who else could?  A child, even if she is miles away from Mom, calls out for her when she falls, is hurt, or feels a need for care.  She trusts Mom to be there during these times of pain and unrest. "Fill me!", I cry out to the Lord. And He hears me...and in my brokenness, answers. 

We are called sons and heirs (Galatians 4:7) of God. This gives us one way to relate to Him. I can cry out, Abba, and ask Him to hold me in times of pain. I don't need to explain or justify my feelings, but I can feel them, lay them down at His feet (as many times as necessary) and walk away from that ready to "play" some more. And if I need to be comforted again, I can return, trusting His promise of rest. 

So, I pray...

My dear Savior, 

Out of my bondage, sorrow and night,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into Thy freedom, gladness and light,
Jesus, I come to Thee. 
Out of my sickness, into Thy health,
Out of my want, into Thy wealth,
Out of my sin, and into Thyself,
Jesus I come to thee.

Out of my shameful failure and loss,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into the glorious gain of Thy cross,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of earth's sorrows, into Thy balm,
Out of life's storms and into Thy calm,
Out of distress to jubilant psalm,
Jesus, I come to Thee. 

Out of unrest and arrogant pride, 
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into Thy blessed will to abide,
Jesus, I come to Thee;
Out of myself to dwell in Thy love,
Out of despair, into raptures above,
Upward for aye on wings like a dove,
Jesus, I come to Thee. 

Out of the fear and dread of the tomb, 
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into the joy and light of Thy home,
Jesus, I come to Thee;
Out of the depths of ruin untold,
Into the peace of Thy sheltering fold,
Ever Thy glorious face to behold,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Jesus, I come to Thee. 

Amen

And I pray these things, with a child-like hope of Him working in me, in us.  The Lord is present...do not be anxious about anything. The words to that lovely hymn ring true to where I am. I come, as a child...Lord bring me to you. (Smile) And Freedom reigns. YES! HALLELUJAH! He reigns! 
~Lily 



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