We should have bought stock in Kimberly-Clark. This week’s Kleenex use could have upped our dividends.
Sniffling, sneezing and snotting are the reasons for pink noses, chapped cheeks and lots of crying. Although we’re faithfully laundering dish rags and face cloths, our current disease is spreading.
Those of us over the age of accountability eagerly look forward to 8:00 pm each day when all the small fry are tucked into bed. That’s when we gather in front of the fireplace with our simple meals to have adult conversation. Ahhhh.
Tonight talk turned to Scripture and the voice of Jesus who challenged his disciples to “change and become like little children” if they wanted to enter the kingdom of heaven. These strong words were his response to their question of who would be highly ranked in heaven. Jesus elaborated (in a dozen verses) on how important it was to become like children, little ones, if they wanted to be saved.
What did he mean?
Today we watched five little children being childlike, which translated to making endless demands and crying incessantly. How do we jive this with what Jesus said?
In our discussion tonight, we concluded he must have meant we’re to have childlike faith in him. And all the sadness and crying of five sick little people is, surprisingly, a good example of this. Skylar, Nicholas, Micah, Evelyn and Thomas are all needy, completely helpless on their own. They can’t accomplish anything without the rest of us.
So they call to us to save them from their misery, acknowledging their need in the process. Jesus was saying, “Notice that. They have faith in you. They trust you. They’re completely dependent on you. That’s exactly where you ought to be in relation to Me.”
But there’s more to it than that:
- Young children look to their parents as God-substitutes, the model standard of what’s right and wrong. If mothers and fathers are trustworthy, sons and daughters can more easily trust a heavenly father when the time comes for a faith of their own.
- Our babies know we’ll do our best to help them in their health crises, because they believe we can and will. In the same way, we ought to have faith in God to help us through our troubles, being absolutely certain he can and will. Just as children take everything literally, the Lord wants us to believe in him that way, too, literally to trust him with our lives.
- Jesus’ comments were not an attempt to elevate children but rather a challenge for his disciples to lower themselves to the humble state of young children (who had no rights in those days). In doing so, they’d become fit for his kingdom, even to becoming the greatest.
- Our five ailing babies are surrounded by the true love of their parents and also the rest of us. When we help, they warm to our care. God’s heart beats even more passionately toward us, and he rushes to our aid with love beyond our understanding, hoping we’ll warm to his activity in our lives.
And on that note, I’d better check our Kleenex inventory.
“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3)