Matthew 19:14 “But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”
One of things I love about social media (and yes, there is plenty NOT to love), is when Facebook shows me my memories of what I posted years before on that day. Recently a video appeared that I had taken of my boys 8 years ago. My sons are now 18, 15, and 12. (My oldest is graduating from high school next week, and I’m a mess. Where did the time go! But I digress….) When my middle son was in 2nd grade, I home-schooled him. Of course, my youngest was not yet old enough for school. This video showed an “indoor recess.” Their mattresses where on the living room floor, and they were jumping, flipping, and falling from the base of our fireplace onto their beds, over and over, in crazy positions and saying funny things. My little guy used to call his brother “Yuke” (Luke). It seems like yesterday, not 8 years ago!
I can remember a time that year that I walked into the kitchen to find Luke (age 7) with a plate of ice cubes. He was going to try a science experiment from a book he borrowed from the library. It seemed so odd that he was standing over the plate, dabbing all the ice with a hand towel. “What are you doing?” I asked. “I need dry ice.”
Kids are the best! Besides being funny, I admire how easily they trust. While Jesus was on Earth, He made a point to interact with little children and teach about their faith. Christ highlighted the attributes of young kids as those we should possess as believers. They reminded Him of how people in Heaven act, happy and full of joy.
Today I ask myself, “Molly, do you remember when you last acted like a child? Carefree, uninhibited, trusting, transparent, happy? Before the world and life and trials made you cynical, untrusting, edgy, sad, bitter, and angry?” WHOA! You might say, “Are you, as a Christian writer and Sunday school teacher, Christian colllege teacher, wife, and mom, saying you are all of those negative things?” Well, yes, sometimes I am. Sometimes I am so far from the little girl who looked at life with eager anticipation and joy. How about you? Is there still that child-like happiness in your life? I hope so. We need to get back to that.
I am not so out-of-touch as to suggest we all go to the playground and play of the swings all day. I know, all too well, that we are adults and must live adult lives- making decisions, working jobs, caring for our families, dealing with finances, and co-workers, and mean neighbors, and trials and hard times. I know life has beat us up and tried to take our hope and our trust in humanity. I know there is evil in this world, and some of you experienced how wicked human beings could be from a very young age. You may not have had much of a carefree childhood, at all.
Jesus understands that, too. In fact, He decided to enter the world at a time and place in history when people were oppressed by their government, lived very difficult lives of poverty, and had no modern conveniences. They worked hard, every day of their lives, and had very little time for fun or leisure. Christ chose to live His Earthly life as a lower middle-class Jewish man, under the Roman government’s corrupt leadership. He was a laborer. He had no “perks.” He picked that life. He could have chosen any family and culture in history, and that is what He chose. He definitely lived in circumstances that gave him all the hardship he would need to be defeated, depressed, discouraged, hopeless. I believe that was on purpose, so that He could show us the example of living the victorious Christian life through the power of the Holy Spirit and prayer. Then He gathered children around Himself and showed us how to be happy in tough times.
Ladies, let’s remember that we have access to the One Who can give us back our child-like happiness, joy, and faith. Yes, even amid our current life events. Yes, even with our complex relationships. We can rise above and live like little kids in our spirits. Uninhibited, smiling, victorious, trusting. That is what the “kingdom of Heaven” is like. That is how your relatives and friends and mentors in Heaven are feeling today. Good News! God sees us right now, in His Omni-Presence, as ALREADY seated with Him in Heavenly places! (Eph. 2:6) Jesus sees you and me, in this moment, as being in Heaven in our glorified body. And guess what? WE ARE ACTING LIKE LITTLE KIDS! Don’t you love that thought?
Let’s bring back some of that childish joy and trust in God into our earthly life. We CAN live that way with the power of God. Christ in us, the hope of glory. Smile, laugh, live in victory! Christ has overcome the world! He has overcome your world. Today.