Tonight, as I was having my quiet time, a picture fell out of the back of my journal. I hadn’t looked at it in weeks. I completely forgot I had put it there. Out of habit, I went to just slide it back in as if it hadn’t slipped out in the first place, but something stopped me. It was a quick momentary pause, causing me to stop and really look at the picture. A picture I was so quick to put away without a second thought. I stared hard. And then a huge smile came across my face. Not just a little tug at the corner of your mouth smile, but a full-on cheek-to-cheek, goofy grin.
I stared: a picture of me at age seven, sitting at a pumpkin patch, laughing at whoever was behind the camera. My eyes were squinty, the way they get when when something really makes me smile. I had one of those terrible $6 haircuts, and there were gaps in all of my front teeth but gosh, I was happy. The more I looked at the picture, the lighter my heart became and I started to laugh.
I was so happy for probably no reason other than the fact that I was picking out pumpkins at the pumpkin patch with my family. I didn’t need a reason to be happy. I just was. As adults, we look at kids in awe of their happy-go-lucky mindsets and wonder why we aren’t like that anymore. But why can’t we be like that?
People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them. Anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.
At first, I read that and thought, “okay, so just because I don’t act like a kid anymore, God won’t let me come home to him?”
No, of course not. Think about it: children are innocent. They exemplify humility and trust because they don’t know anything else. They smile just because their sweet little hearts are full of incredible joy – they haven’t allowed the world to corrupt them. They come running to their mommies and daddies, ready to jump into their arms, believing that they will be caught, every single time. This is how our God as Father wants us to act. We are children of HIS Kingdom. We are His babies. We are His little boys and little girls. We enter into His kingdom spotless, like a newborn baby. He wants us to take His love and His acceptance as it is. He wants our trust and our faith without doubt but with acknowledgment of His greatness. He wants us to run and jump into his arms with belief that He will catch us, without fail, every single time. That is what it means to have a childlike faith. Our Father loves us so much that He is with us, day-in and day-out, constantly seeking to remind us of His love. He pursues us like a father pursues his child. He always has time for us.
Having childlike faith allows us to be joyful in all circumstances because that type of faith contains unconditional trust and the ability to see good in each day. Have you ever noticed that even if kids cry, they’ll cry for a little while but soon after, they’re laughing or playing again? Life for the childlike is simply good. As a child in the kingdom of God, life is just good. Yes, bad things happen. We lose loved ones, we lose touch with friends, we do poorly or maybe even fail a class – but life is still good. Why? Because the resurrection is true. Because there is an eternal hope. Because we can be still and know that He is God. In all circumstances and in all walks of life, He is God.
May we be just like a child staring at the beauty of our King.
Wonder by Bethel Music
Children are in awe of just about everything. That is how our God wants us to look at him – in reverence, in awe.
As I sit here, the picture of little me laying next to my computer, I am reminded to live with a childlike faith. I am reminded to trust His promises. I am reminded to be joyful in all circumstances because He is so, so good. Looking into the light in my eyes in this picture, I am reminded to fix my eyes on my King because He is that light that offers me childlike joy - forever.
-Kaity Bryant // @kaitybryant