A tiny babe is placed into our arms … totally dependent upon us for nourishment, tenderness, care and love.
As the years progress, so does that attitude of independence. Even though they really still need us, the terrible twos are not empty of what the name portends.
I recall watching our then 2-year-old granddaughter haughtily walk away from her parents after being told “no” for the umpteenth time. She sashayed her little hips and pounded her tiny feet as she ‘told them!’
Her parents could hardly contain the laughter bubbling up … yet, had to maintain a straight face with her. I’ve watched her develop and know God has a great purpose for this budding leader.
She is confident and strong … balanced by joyful affection and compassion that will bring others together to serve alongside her. She’s a work in progress. But I have every confidence that with her enthusiasm, love for life and concern for others she will be a force to be reckoned with because her heart already belongs to the Lord.
As she grows up physically, emotionally and spiritually embracing all the fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22 … self-control will help her remain small enough … that is, humble and trusting … leading with a servant’s heart.
In the Bible, we read about a time when Jesus was interacting with the people. No one was ever turned away and he made himself available to all who came to him. Though he welcomed everyone, he lived at a time when certain people were not welcomed or revered. Children were among them.
Therefore, when some parents brought their little children to Jesus with the hope he would touch them, bless them … maybe even cuddle them on his lap … their hopes were dashed by the disciples.
“They scolded the parents for bothering him,” says Luke 18:16 NLT.
It was as if they said, “Look, these are just children. They are not worthy of the Master’s time,” as they shooed them away. But Jesus …
He saw what was going on and called out to welcome them instead. He told his disciples, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children.”
So, it begs the question, “What characteristics of a child do we need to embrace as Kingdom people?
How about trust, faith, joy, love, forgiveness and enthusiasm for the things of God. What about a measure of innocence? Perhaps it is the innocence of a child that persists to forgive even those who neglected them.
No matter how old we are, let’s be small enough. Selah