28 Mar Faith Like a Child
I’ll admit it – I have a really soft spot in my heart for children. I have a funny feeling God does too (see Matthew 19:14). This week in Pee Dee, we met some of the cutest kids I’ve ever seen. I’ve been around the world (Mexico, Australia, North Africa) and I continually run into the same theme when I am doing mission work: beautiful, hopeful children in the midst of intense poverty.
My team cleaned a house that, let’s just say, really needed to be cleaned. We wondered how people could live and function inside. And then we met the kids: Nicole, Eddie and Alex. They were like flowers popping up in the middle of concrete sidewalks – beautiful paradoxes.
I feel like God is teaching me to have a child’s heart. It is so easy for me to be cynical and jaded even though I am a mere 22 years old; when I think about the state our world is in, I get sort of depressed. But the kids in McColl, South Carolina are excited about the little things in life. They couldn’t wait to play in a large tub of soapy water. You would’ve thought it was Christmas or something. But no, just some lukewarm water mixed with purple laundry detergent on a hot day. They simply wanted to be loved and cared for. They wanted someone to get down on their level and play cars or take time to figure out which shapes their silly bands could make.
On Wednesday night, a man named Jackie spoke about his life. He had such a heartbreaking story; there was hardly a dry eye in the church that night. He has endured things I can hardly comprehend. Yet his heart is still soft and tender toward God; he still has a childlike faith. I don’t know how that can happen except through the miracle of God’s grace. He told us that now he spends his time building up the youth in his church because the youth are the future. He pointed to a younger kid in our group (who can do a really amazing Scottish accent, by the way) and said, “He’s the kingdom of heaven.”
He’s right. The kingdom of heaven doesn’t belong to the ones who think they have it all together and can quote every Bible verse by heart. It belongs to the children who simply want to be held in their Daddy’s arms. It belongs to the hurting, the broken – the ones who know they need a Savior. It belongs to those who don’t need to know all the answers in order to obey (*gulp* a point of continual conviction for me!).
I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes, which beautifully illustrates how Christ takes us as we are, His children and the apple of His eye:
Your ordinary self is exactly where God wants to work extraordinary miracles. The inconspicuous nobody who shivers when it’s cold and sweats when it’s hot, who wakes up so many days feeling not-at-all-ready to face the world, who can barely get dressed and show up on time and at the right place, who has to read the paragraph three times to understand it, who feels lonely and hopeless, isolated, crowded, horny, left out, and taken in all at once-YOU are the one God loves! Deal with it.
-Posers, Fakers, and Wannabes (Unmasking the Real You)
Beloved, rest assured that God takes you JUST as you are and asks you only to trust Him with childlike faith and abide in His all-sufficient love. He will do the rest!
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