“Catch me Grandma! Catch me!” My four-year-old granddaughter gleefully called while jumping off the porch into my arms!
My heart fell to my stomach as I stretched out my arms praying I would catch her.
Her carefree confidence and squeals of joy gave me the strength to reach out and catch her.
Over and over she climbed up the steps and repeated the process; jumping into the air uninhibited by fear knowing I would catch her.
But what if I dropped her? Would she continue the game? Would she ever trust me again?
I love experiencing life through the eyes of our grandchildren; we have four! Their eyes are so telling; surprise and wonder while watching the circus, elation when they see me walking up the path to their front door, eager anticipation while I scoop scrumptious ice cream into a cone for a special treat. Most of all, the complete look of trust when I tell them everything is going to be ok.
In Mark 10:13-16 Jesus let us know how important childlike faith is.
“And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, ‘Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.’ And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them.”
The disciples saw children as unimportant, or irritants that would delay the mighty work their Lord had to do. Yet Jesus scolded them and said if they, the disciples, did not receive the Kingdom of God as a child, they would not enter it at all.
“We must stand affected to Christ and His grace, as little children to their parents, nurses, and teachers.” (Matthew Henry Commentary)
Unless we have such faith as a child in the One we proclaim to trust, how can we ever receive all that He has prepared for us: eternal life, the indwelling Holy Spirit to guide us through our days on earth, the blessings of today and tomorrow?
When do trusting children grow into suspicious adults?
It happens as we get “dropped” or disappointed over life not turning out the way we thought. When those we trust to catch us let us down, hurt or even abandon us. When told over and over to stop acting like a child and grow up. When we jump into a new adventure and fall flat with perceived failure.
People used to tell me; “You seem so much older than your age.”
When I was underage, I liked being thought of as older; however, now I’m hoping people see me as younger than my age! Being the oldest of four, I had to grow up fast. My parents struggled with life, often leaving me to fill the role of “grown up” in the family. I have few memories of playing and being carefree when I was a child.
One of the first blessings I received after trusting Jesus as my Savior was restored childlike faith. My Heavenly Father has given me the ability to see life through a child’s lens. I have this simple and pure joy in my heart that allows me to receive such pleasure in life around me. When I see a butterfly land on a flower, I stand mesmerized watching its wings flutter as it stays in place. I find myself wanting to run and try to catch it as it flies gracefully away. A brilliant sunset or sunrise displays the most vibrant colors I’ve ever seen!
When I’m faced with a difficult situation, though my emotions and mind are running wild as if hijacked, I trust the still small voice within that whispers; “Its ok Tina, go ahead, I’ll be right here with you. You are Mine and I’m never going to leave you.”
I find such joy entering our grandchildren’s world. One of our favorite games is pretending the play set in our backyard is a ship. On deck the Captain and First Mate look in the telescope alerting us that a storm is coming. Captain! Captain! We cry, the storm is coming, the storm is coming what will we do? Whoever is Captain will shout, don’t worry get on board and I will save you! With childlike faith we obey the Captain’s orders and find ourselves in no time at all sailing in smooth waters, safe from the torrential storm that once threatened to draw us under.
Wouldn’t life be so much easier if we would listen to our Father’s command with childlike faith believing that He will catch us no matter what?
I challenge you to enter into your children or grandchildren’s world today, to allow them to be children, and to view life through their eyes. See the wonder and little things that thrill and remind us that life is full and even good! I pray we will begin to see that the God of the universe is with us, longing for us to see Him as Abba, Daddy, with arms open wide waiting for us to jump into His safe embrace.
What was your favorite childhood game? Why don’t you teach a group of youngsters your game and remember the carefree days of your youth.