Jen’s Gem: Have faith like a child.
Last week, I had the privilege of babysitting my great niece. Her name is Summer Grace and she’s almost three years old. She’s as cute as a button and every time I see her little face, I could just eat her up. She can’t quite pronounce “Aunt Jennifer” but her attempts to do so are priceless.
We spent our days doing the simplest of things. My house has been without toddler toys and games for quite a few years, so I had to be creative in how we were going to spend our time together.
Our day typically began with a few chores. She helped me to empty my dishwasher, delighting in organizing the silverware. On days when I had to do laundry, she handed me each item. Full trash cans were sought out and emptied.
Each day, we waited for the neighborhood cat to pay a visit. Some days, Summer would serenade me with her rendition of her favorite song on my piano. We went for walks, drove my son to school, and she even helped shovel the snow on my deck!
Fish were fed. Stuffed animals were played with and put down for naps. We had snacks, tons of mac and cheese, and naps that gave us both a chance to rest and recharge. Nearly every activity had some sort of a teachable moment, whether it was a math lesson or developing her problem solving skills.
Me: “Why didn’t we see the cat today?”
Summer: “Too cold.”
Me: “What is that big red sign?”
Summer: “Stop sign.”
In a quiet moment, I would pause and sit in awe at the simplicity of a three-year old’s life. Eat. Play. Rest. They are sponges and absorb everything around them. They notice the tiniest and most obscure things and are enthralled with the most mundane tasks. Thanks to Summer, my entire bookshelf has been re-organized by color and size!
The Bible speaks often of children. It’s well known that Jesus loved to be around little children and at times admonished his own disciples when they would hinder the little ones from seeing Him. He spoke about how to parent, what a blessing children are, and why we should emulate them when it comes to our faith.
Kids believe anything you tell them. They trust you will take care of them. They know you love them unconditionally. This is the type of relationship Jesus wants with all of His children – not just toddlers, but you and me.
- Believe what He says.
- Trust He’ll always take care of you.
- Know that He loves you unconditionally.
This is childlike faith. This is the same faith my little “baby Summer” had in me each day. She believed me when I told her the kitty didn’t visit because he was eating his lunch. She knew that I’d take care of her every need each day. And I’m pretty sure that my non-stop hugs illustrated my love for her.
Religion has made our relationship with Jesus so complicated with man-made rules that Jesus had nothing to do with creating. It instills fear instead of freedom. It promotes separation instead of unity. And sadly has been the cause of many people losing their faith and forgetting about the three simple promises of God mentioned above.
I’d like to encourage you this week to “become like a child” as Jesus states. Take a look at some of the Bible verses about children. (Click here.) If you’re a parent of a young child, observe them a little more closely, perhaps with a different mindset. Imagine how God sees them.
I suspect, like me, you’ll soon realize that all the world could use a bit more of Summer.