This week my children have been in VBS at church every morning. I’ve enjoyed a much needed break from the chaos of summer at home with four kids, but more importantly– my little ones have been soaking in biblical truths while having a ton of creative fun! I’m incredibly thankful for this ministry to our kids and literally have been in awe as I watch our oldest (now six) come home and relay to me the things she’s learned. With eager enthusiasm she has come home singing the catchy tunes and matter of factly stating the truths of His character: trustworthy, faithful to do what He’s promised, capable of anything, etc.
Often as adults we complicate the simplicity of Christianity. The difficulties of life and the consequences of a sinful world cloud our view of the goodness of God’s character and the ease of the relationship He desires with us. It should be blatantly obvious that when God identifies Himself as our Father that He longs for us to be in a relationship with Him literally as children. Jesus makes this truth an actual commandment and requirement in Matthew 18:3 when He says says
“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Observing and interacting with my kids at lunch after bible school helped clarify the importance and reality of what this verse means. One of the most notable things children exhibit is passionate joy. After being immersed in worship and bible teachings, they come home brimming with excitement, joy, and radiate genuine happiness. Children truly demonstrate the rare peace that comes when we are able to fully embrace who God is without reservations and skepticism. This overflowing joy literally pours from their smiles, the skips on the way to the car, the singing on the way home, and the chatter over lunch.
Children believe without questioning easily because of the innocence in their hearts and the lack of “real life problems” they face in childhood. For example, it’s much easier to believe in the truth of God’s omniprescence when you aren’t surrounded with the knowledge and reality of death, sickness, abuse, and crime. However, our surroundings should merely serve as a checkpoint to remind us of where we need to keep our focus– on who God IS, not on what we see in this fallen world.
Sakura came home with a “handy” little lesson that I absolutely love and one that I hope I will remember in the days ahead when life doesn’t seem to always make sense and overwhelms me. She said,“Mom look at your hand. You have five fingers. Now, just remember– five little words: God is holding your hand.” So simple, accurate and foundational to our faith, yet ask many adult Christians if sometimes that is hard to accept or believe? If they are honest, the answer will probably be yes.
As I watch my children grow in faith I am keenly aware that clearly I am “missing it sometimes.” I’ve noticed my kids believe and experience God in a way that few adults do. Children pursue knowledge of God with an eagerness and what is almost an unquenchable hunger. Perhaps, a lesson is to be learned here. Maybe we should pray more often God would open our eyes to be more “child-like” and stop constantly trying to “grow up” in our faith.