By Vicki Johnson
Oh, to be a child again!
A daily desire for some; a repulsive concept for others. As a child, I remember thinking how I couldn’t wait to grow up and be an adult so I could do my own thing and be my own boss. The adult world always seemed ideal, as I peered through childish eyes.
The tables have turned and now my spectacled vision regards my childhood days with envious longing. Those days are history,yet, my Lord draws me back to re-live them in light of eternity.
In Matthew 18, verse 1 the disciples ask Jesus a question they had been mulling over for some time. “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” they ask. In essence, who is greater, larger, elder, and stronger? I get the idea the question was asked with a supposed answer in mind. They simply wanted Jesus to confirm their assumptions. But, Jesus’ response would correct their focus from worldly perceptions to heavenly insights.
“ 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: 2-4 (ESV)
Jesus gave the answer nobody wanted to hear. That happens to me so often. I ask Him a question after I have worked on the possible answer just to have Jesus come at my pre-conceptions from a totally different approach. Not fair, Jesus! I wasn’t ready for that one. He is the ultimate game changer.
So, who is greater, larger, elder and stronger in the Kingdom of Heaven? A child. A little one. The one who must look up to find her answers. One who must trust for strength from above to lift her higher than she could go herself. It is the child who asks for guidance at each turn and step of the way. A child doesn’t disguise fear, loneliness, and anger. She knows that fear is changed to courage, loneliness to belonging, anger to peace when she comes to her Father’s throne of Grace. She knows that she isn’t the Beginning and the End of all things, but she is a part of the One who Is, and that’s alright with her. Her response to Grace is uninhibited joy, wonder, and praise for the Grace Giver.
Mature faith is child-like trust. The kingdom of heaven is made of this.