Each vacation I feel I learn a life lesson. Something that truly speaks to my soul and leaves a lasting impression. This vacation was unlike any other in the simple fact that we have a tiny toddler (2 and a half to be exact) traveling with us. Vacations have always been a norm for her, being that she was a mere 8 months old on her first trip. So it wasn't that schedules revolved around snacks and nap times that threw a wrench into things, in fact it was none of the sort. This vacation I learned to slow down, and enjoy the moment. The mere amazement in my daughters eyes as she discovered new things was breathtaking. I wish I was able to take actual memories from this trip and set them on display somewhere so that I never forget how beautiful life really is.
I wonder then if this is why the Bible tells us to come to God like a child, I like the way the amplified version translates Matthew 18:3, listen to this - "And said, Truly I say unto you, unless you repent (change, turn about) and become like little children [trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving], you can never enter the kingdom of heaven [at all]. "
Now incase you were wondering the above verse is Jesus talking to the disciples. They were inquiring about who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven and He called a child to Him, and spoke the verses in Chapter 18. If you can put this into perspective you will see this is a huge deal. The disciples were likely looking for a text book answer, something about martyrs or maybe even one of the twelve following Him as being the greatest, instead he took a child and told the disciples that these children's angels always behold the face of God. And that if one of them strays, he will leave the flock to find the missing child. The love that the father has for his children is immense, unexplainable and fascinating.
The other piece to this relationship is the child. The child sees through eyes of trust, and this is how we must see the father.
My daughter, though she is navigating the do's and don'ts of life, she values her father and I's instruction. She may not always like what we have to say, but she knows that we have her best interest at heart. We don't make up silly rules just to enforce our power over her, in-fact we "pick our battles" and only correct her when it is needed. She grasps our hand with adoration. Desiring to be led through the new places, feeling confident in her ability to walk beside us but trusting that we will never lead her astray. Her eyes take in the wonder of this beautiful creation as she eagerly asks us about nearly everything. What is its name, and what is its purpose?
This must be what the Father meant when told us to come to Him as a child. To come trusting, yet eager. To come willing, yet honorable. To follow closely, yet confidently.
We must know who we are as His children, and this takes spending time with the Father. Reading his word, Talking (and listening) in prayer. We must know that our Father knows best. That the guidelines laid out before us in the leather bound book are not "rules" made to simply enforce power, but that they are fool proof guidelines to living a full and abundant life. We should expect and anticipate correction and repercussion when we step out of line, knowing that pruning a tree isn't comfortable, but it is necessary for optimal growth.
Dear Lord, Help us to come to you as a child; Trusting, Hopeful, Willful, Excited and Faithful. Let us sink into your word, your praises and your conversations with pleasure. Open our eyes and ears to your voice and your beauty. Lead us as a loving father always will. May we ever be found holding your hand. In Jesus' Name, -Amen