I’m sure we’re all familiar with the scripture where Jesus says that we must become like little children to enter the kingdom of heaven… but I have to say that you get a whole new multi-faceted view of this scripture when you have children of your own.
My youngest is five, and since she’s the “baby,” she still does things that the other two quit when they became a big brother and sister at a much younger age. But I was realizing the other day that I probably have very little time left to enjoy some of her baby ways.
For example… almost every morning when she wakes up, she comes out to find me, wherever I am, and she climbs up on my lap as though it’s reserved specifically for her. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing… eating breakfast, reading, still in bed sleeping, trying to fix my husband’s lunch… she’s right there expecting me to either drop what I’m doing or find a way to do it around her, because my lap is her spot and she’s there to claim it.
Now it would be easy to think that this is rude, and that I need to teach her to be more considerate of what I’m doing… but I’d rather think about the meaning behind it. She wants to start her day with me! In some way, the fact that she started life completely dependent on me for everything still makes her come to me for security before she starts her day. And let’s face it… for nine months, my “lap” was reserved specifically for her, and for quite a while after it may-as-well have been hers, for I was the only one who could feed her, and I was usually the one to care for every other need that she had.
What if we woke up that way? What if, before we were even fully awake, we found ourselves seeking out the One who takes care of us… just to climb up on His lap for a bit of secure snuggling before we started our day? Not because we know we’re “supposed” to, but because there is nothing that makes us feel quite as content and secure as hearing His heartbeat and feeling His presence surround us?
What if we lived the rest of our lives the way my children do?
What if calling for God when we’re scared was second nature the way it is for my kids? They don’t have to tell themselves that they should call Mommy and Daddy… they just do because to call anyone else would be unthinkable.
What if, when we’re enjoying something, we found ourselves with the overwhelming desire to share it with God? “Hey God, guess what! I got a promotion! And it sure is a beautiful day!” Have you ever tried to get something done when your child is excited about something? It’s nearly impossible! Every second they’re interrupting you to tell you something else about whatever it is that’s filling their mind at that moment. Maybe God wants us to “bug” Him that way!
What if, when we are confused and don’t know what to do, we didn’t hesitate to run to God for help… rather than fighting and trying to figure it out by ourselves first, and then trying self-help books, and then the latest guru, and who knows what else. My kids feel no shame or hesitation in asking me for help… often before they’ve even tried it on their own! What holds us back? God is a great cook, you know… He’s helped me fix meals that I thought were past hope. And He’s also good at laying ceramic tile, and laminating countertops, and sewing, and cleaning, and teaching, and writing… you name it… if I’ve gotten stuck in something and thought to ask Him for help, He’s gotten me out of it! But I wonder how many problems I’ve muddled my way through without Him?
And why does God want us to come to Him like a child? Can it be that maybe He finds pleasure in the same things that my husband and I do when we see our children?If He does, then He can’t help smiling when we come in the morning and sleepily crawl up on His lap. He never thinks twice about dropping whatever He’s doing to stop and help us when we need it. When we’re scared, then there’s nothing that could stop Him from rushing to re-assure us and comfort us. Maybe He runs off to tell the angels every time we learn something new, just to brag about us to someone who will listen.
And you know what the most precious thought of all is, to me? That He looks in on us when we’re sleeping and smiles just because we’re so precious and so beautiful.