I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will
never enter the kingdom of heaven.” - Matthew 18:3 NIV
“My Dad can lift a rock THIS BIG!” - That’s an actual quote from my sister and I when we were probably around 4 and 6 years old. Walking on the sidewalk with our Mom, we were passing by a large retaining wall with giant gray rocks - boulder sized - that seemed to tower over our heads. Not nearly as impressed by their size as by the strength and ability of our Dad, we stretched our arms out as wide as we could, as if to emphasize our statement. We truly believed our Dad could lift a rock ‘THIS BIG’. And honestly, we still do ;)
My view of God and my faith in Him as a child also held that same simplistic belief that He could do anything. When I read the story of Daniel in the lions den or David and Goliath or when Jesus raised the little girl back to life, my faith in Jesus grew. In addition to the Bible stories my parents taught me as a child, it was also personal experience that shaped my faith in God and taught me to trust Him.
“In you, Lord my God, I put my trust. I trust in You; do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame...”
- Psalm 25:1-2 NIV
I remember the night when we watched as the fuel gauge go up on our car when we are almost out of fuel. The Lord put gas in our tank when were on our way to the gas station - without His supernatural provision we wouldn't have made it. I still think about the time when my Mom stood at the stove stirring a pot of Mac n’ Cheese, praying and we watched that dinner miraculously grow and multiply before our eyes. It was a modern day 5 loaves and 2 fishes experience that I’ve never forgotten. In these personal experiences of God’s care I knew that Jesus is real - and that He really loves me.
You may have heard people over the years talk about childlike faith. The word ‘childlike’ means ‘having the good qualities associated with a child.’ Some synonyms of 'childlike' are innocent, guileless, unworldly, unwary and trusting.
But often times as we grow up and become adults and we see the bad things that go on in the world, its easy to become cynical, distrustful and wary - not just with our fellow man but also in our relationship with the Lord. In Matthew 18, Jesus was calling His followers to a much more simple, trusting faith - rooted in a foundational relationship with God as our Father and us as His children. It is that simple trust in the Savior, Jesus Christ, that guarantees us eternal life.
Because I grew up with a wonderful Mom and Dad - it wasn’t hard for me to relate to God as my Father and view myself as His child. It was just as natural to trust God as it was to ask my Mom to kiss my boo-boo or grasp my Dad's big strong hand with my small one.
But as I got older, it was important for me to reaffirm my faith in Jesus - especially when circumstances grew hard and I had to face mountain-sized problems, namely health issues. Some of you who read this may know my story. But for those who don’t, suffice it to say that in the face of uncertainty, the Word of the Lord was certain - He was life and health to me when my family and I had no one else to count on. In all of this - the Lord was faithful and true to His Word. Today I am healed and well and have many, many more reasons to have childlike faith and trust in God. I still believe God can do anything - because He can and He does. In Matthew 19:26 NIV, Jesus said,
"With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
Is there something you need to trust the Lord for today? Has it been awhile since you put away a cynical way of thinking and trusted God in childlike faith? Do you need an answer to a pressing problem? Jesus will help you. He will shoulder your burden and carry you when you can’t walk on your own. I know He will. All you have to do is ask Him. God our Father is reaching down to you and saying, “Yes, I can lift a rock and move a mountain THIS BIG!”
“In that day they will say, ‘Surely this is our God; we trusted in Him, and He saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in Him; let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.’”
- Isaiah 25:9 NIV
As we close this month, I can think of no greater words to encourage you with than that of Psalm 62:8 which says, “Trust in Him as all times, you people; pour out our hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.” Trust the Lord, lean on Him and know that I’ll be praying for you too.
By, Jessi Wasell