I know this little eight year old girl, let’s call her “Alice”. Alice lives life wide open. She loves big and deep. Alice’s mom and I have had many conversations about how Alice just “gets people”. She knows what hurts them and wants to make it better. She realizes what makes people happy and is bound and determined to pull that off for them. Alice knows how to use her words, written and spoken, and her actions to soothe, heal, and minister to those who need it. Alice reminds me of two things from God’s word.
“I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3 (NIV)
“Jesus replied, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.’” Matthew 16:17 (NIV)
We could substitute “Alice’ for “Simon son of Jonah” because the insight this little girl has certainly comes from her heavenly Father.
I heard someone say about Alice, “I hope she never loses her heart for people.” Of course it was an adult that made the statement because adults know how people and just life in general can pound on our hearts, leaving wounds and scars for us to deal with.
So I want to encourage you to pray for your kids and their hearts. Shoot, pray for all the kids you know. There’s no such thing as too much prayer. And heaven knows kids today need all the help they can get!
But also, I encourage you to get in touch with your inner child. Go back and read Matthew 18:3 again. I think part of becoming like little children could be knowing how to listen. Really listen. As adults we are more accustomed to speaking, not listening. We don’t hear our Father speak because we never shut up long enough for His words to get through. However, with childlike anticipation we should learn to sit quietly and hear God’s voice. I have a feeling we’ll find ourselves less likely to carry on a one-sided gripe session or rattle off a wish list as long as our arm when we begin to hear what God is speaking into our lives.