If you ask my seven year old brother what he wants to be when he grows up, he will tell you he’s going to be an astronaut veterinarian. We all know that’s not impossible, but it’s also highly unlikely. In the mind of a child, he will be whatever he wants to be. He’s not worried about how he’ll pay for college and the complexity of achieving both career goals certainly doesn’t faze him; his ingenuous response is full of faith.
I think most busy adults would agree that they’d love to be a kid again. Life is so much simpler when you don’t have to pay the bills, take care of others, or make life-altering decisions. But as it goes, we spend the majority of our lives post-childhood earning credentials and climbing ladders. It starts in school when we’re compared against elusive standards and continues as we enter the workforce– the same evaluations, just adding in a quest to earn money. If not as much as possible, at least enough to take care of obligations. We transition from whimsical aspirations to mundane routines which are dependent upon our own ability to accomplish tasks and achieve goals. What if instead, we lived out of the providence of our Father?
As the Lord has begun to shift my perspective this year, I’m understanding a new side of our relationship than I had been used to: childlike faith. There is a lot to learn from the mindset and position of a child.
Matthew 18:2-4 (TPT) reads:
Jesus called a little one to his side and said to them, “Learn this well: Unless you dramatically change your way of thinking and become teachable, and learn about heaven’s kingdom realm with the wide-eyed wonder of a child, you will never be able to enter in. Whoever continually humbles himself to become like this gentle child is the greatest one in heaven’s kingdom realm.”
I love this translation because there are a few truths I’ve gleaned from it that may not be as easy to recognize otherwise.
- Dramatically change your way of thinking. Becoming like a child is not a simple task– it essentially requires us to rewire our brains and begin to see the world differently. There is a drastic difference between the way children think and the way adults think, but we can effectively manifest both when we mesh dependence with wisdom.
- Become teachable. Pride is a sin issue many of us struggle with. If it’s not yourself, I’m sure you know someone who is too stubborn to admit they’re wrong, and hesitates to take correction. We must host a humble spirit.
- Continually humble yourself. “Continually” is the key word here. Learning to surrender our control to Jesus is a process, and within that there is always grace for ourselves and those around us.
Childlike faith is all about innocent and unrestrained trust in God. In the most practical sense: why should we worry if God’s not worried? I’m no bible scholar and I’ll never claim to be. But for me, what I’ve learned from meditating on this concept is that the Lord has called us to leave behind our busy lives of striving and simply let Him be our Father.
Let Him provide for you. Listen to his instruction.
Believe that He will take care of all your needs AND bring your dreams to fruition.
Live out of that headspace, and become like a child again.