At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" 2 He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3 And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (NIV Bible) Matthew 18:1-4
In this scripture passage, Jesus calls us to become like little children. The call isn't to be childish, but to simply be child like. Young children know that they are needy. They look to their parents to provide everything that they need and want...food, clothing, shelter, teaching, activities, guidance and even discipline.
They are like love sponges, having the capacity to soak into their little bodies as much love as we can give them. They live for hugs and kisses and meaningful touch, an intimate connection that affirms them and tells them that they are welcome into this world and that they are greatly loved.
Jesus calls us to become like little children. Since Jesus says that becoming child-like is a pre-requisite to entering the Kingdom of Heaven, we should take note of another characteristic of a little child. Simple faith. Little children have the faith to simply believe that they will receive what they need when they need it. They don't worry about it, they don't strive over it, they simply expect it.
When my youngest daughter Candice, was very small, she was completely confident that I had an unlimited supply of personal finances for her to draw from. Whenever she wanted something extravagant, she would tell me just to go to the bank and get the money, because they had lots. "Just go to the bank dad" she would say. I think in some ways that God wants us to relate to him like my daughter, Candice related to me.
No worries, no striving, just complete confidence in the ability of her father to meet her needs. While my little girl did not always get what she wanted when she wanted it, I couldn't help but to delight in her boldness and her complete trust in me.
As you read this devotional, my challenge to you is to simply let yourself become very little. The expectations in the world we live in are often to be very grown up. While maturity and responsibility are wonderful attributes, for a moment, set aside the strong, self-sufficient, independent you and allow yourself to become very small and needy before God.
He wants to pick you up, give you a hug, and whisper your name in your ear. You are his child, and he is your Father. This is your destiny, this is what you were created for. When you let Him love you in this way, as a father loves his little child, you will begin to realize that you are still a love sponge, and the need for love and affirmation that you had as a little child is still there within you.
When we allow ourselves to be embraced by God, we begin to see that this is what we have been looking for all our lives. We may have searched for it in careers, relationships, and in many others things, but we only find it in one place…the arms of our Heavenly Father.
Father's Love Letter used by permission Father Heart Communications © 1999 www.FathersLoveLetter.com