For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” Romans 8:15
I have been a follower of Jesus since I was a child, but not really. Not like one of the apostles or disciples, it was more like a game of hide and seek where I did most of the hiding. From the early days of ‘accepting Jesus as my savior,’ through years of teen angst and finally to a prodigal’s reception of the Father’s love, Jesus actually followed me and would not let me go.
As I age, I seek for a simpler life. It is no longer important that I charge the mountains of achievement or ford a great river to prove my worth and strength. I long for peace, faith, hope and love. In recent years, my relationship with God has shifted. He speaks louder or maybe I just listen harder. He comes closer or perhaps I simply stopped running. I don’t know exactly what ignited this precious gift of His presence but I am changed by it. I am being made childlike with a fresh trust in His goodness.
Do you remember the gifts of childhood? Gifts like curiosity and wonder? The gift of living where time has no meaning and is not even a concept? There was the ‘now’ and something nebulous about a ‘yesterday,’ unless it was shadowed with memories of pain. And back then, ‘tomorrow’ was just a word not yet instilled with hope or fear of what may come in a time beyond ‘now’.
To be like a child is to be given a gift of faith and curiosity and wonder. A gift of understanding that God does not only speak in metaphors. He has literal plans and purposes in the stories He tells. In the pictures and dreams He gives, there is a glimmering reality. He is famous for making something from nothing. It is what He does best. He touches us with His God-ness, His goodness and creates beauty from ashes, humans from dust, birds and fish with His voice. He planned and created a system in nature that profoundly touches the curious from the beginning of time. The wonders of river systems and watersheds, rain and clouds, oceans and weather cycles.
The Way of a child of God is the way of wonder, curiosity, seeking and finding. The way into the Kingdom, the way of receiving the Kingdom, is coming to Jesus curious and open to wonder. Like a child approaches an Iris for the first time—touching, smelling, eyeing every little flower thing closely. No fear, just wonder and curiosity. What if we approach Jesus and His kingdom that way? What would we discover? That is the journey I am on today and the rest of my days because I have seen the King and He is wonderful.
This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is his name: ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ Jeremiah 33:2-3
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. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Mark 10:14b-15