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like a child

June 2, 2009

As my feet hit the ground in a steady rhythm, the distance between us became shorter. His clapping hands and state of bliss in a world, that in many ways, remained out of his consciousness seemed to speak volumes to me. I wondered when it is that we lose our ability to not care what others think. For me, I can remember being self-conscious in Kindergarten. A shame, really. For others, the later elementary years or even as late as their teens. I admired how this child, maybe eight or nine, just enjoyed his own hand clapping and not a thing in the world was about to make him self-conscious about it.

I smiled as I passed and pondered what it would take for me to enter into that kind of carefree walk once again. I suppose that any step I take outside of feeling self-conscious is a breakthrough for me (and many others I presume). It’s funny because we tend to live in this fear of man’s judgment (some more than others), rather than embracing who we are and enjoying our own oddities and unique ways that we’re wired. I have become more free in the last few years, but I know that I have a long way to go if I desire to have the freedom of a child in the way that a child lives outside the thoughts of man.

The Father calls us to be childlike.

“I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Mark 10:15

“Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:4

While we are called to grow up, eat meat rather than spiritual milk, and serve others, we are still called to like children in our walk with God. Once again, a paradox that we must dive into.

We are to be wise, mature, servants, etc, but we are to have faith like a child– that we could crawl up in our Daddy’s lap and know that He is good…. to know that He gives us good gifts when we ask. This childlike awareness and love of God brings down the Kingdom.

There was a time for all of us that we did not care what others thought. I see the kids that I teach and can easily see this as they do all sorts of things, not caring one bit who sees or what someone thinks. At one time, we freely gave what we had to offer our parents– though it was nothing really– save a gesture of love, which is something far greater than words can express. In the same way, we have nothing to offer God except our lives and love. This outside of Jesus is nothing, but because of Him, it is a most beautiful thing– especially as we do so with the heart of a child.

Many times, our walk with the Lord is hindered by our own thoughts and self-absorption. We must look to HIM and see Him as a child does. You tell a child that he can pray for healing and he believes it. You tell an adult and he becomes offended or in a state of mockery. Why have our hearts hardened in such a way that we don’t allow the miraculous? I have seen miracles and I know that God is alive and powerful. He is the healer. He is moving in power today. I’ve seen too much to deny it. However, I am also pleading for the Lord to give me a childlike faith and heart that I might live in the miraculous every day (with awareness). We so easily weave between the faith of a child and the stone heart of a jaded adult. Lord, may we not harden our heart to You! May we believe you for great things! Greater things still…

As I passed, I made eye contact with him. He did not even hesitate or become embarrassed for a second. He kept on smiling and clapping as I ran past. Little did he know that his bliss had spoken deeply to me.

May we walk with this kind of freedom. May we not walk in the fear of man, nor the self-absorption of what others think of us. Rather, may our eyes be fixed on Jesus, walking forward in our faith, ready to run freely like a child and all the while, leading and serving as adults.

May we step out in faith…bringing the Kingdom with us…

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