Through the Eyes of a Babe
It is always interesting to see adults around children, lots of children. Over the last week at our annual Vacation Bible School, we enjoyed 120 children and almost 80 youth and adult volunteers. The lessons this year at VBS were simple, yet profound, focusing on different elements of God’s power. We explored God’s power to provide, to heal, to forgive, to comfort, and to love us forever. It was evident that the children grew spiritually through each passing day. Less obvious, perhaps, but equally as impressive was the growth in the VBS leaders over the week. I believe the mere presence of children catalyzed a spiritual “maturation” for all of us adults.
There is an element of excitement and energy that children bring about—a contagious and infectious source of happiness and levity. They see things more simply and through less tarnished eyes than adults. They ask such pure and revealing questions, really knowing how to cut into the core of the issue. Their innocence gives them special perceptive powers and their faith is strengthened by the absence of an over-thinking or analyzing attitude about life. Children are not only full of faith, but they are also faithful not only in their hearts, but also in their actions.
It should be of little surprise then, in Matthew 18: 3-5, when Jesus says, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.” We find a few lessons in this scripture. The first is very straightforward. Be like kids and get into heaven. In other words, have unbridled, unwavering and awesome faith in God and you will find yourself living in eternity with Him. Another lesson in the text evidences what happened last week at VBS with our adults and youth. “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.” Our VBS staff’s actions and faith embraced children with a singular focus. Put God first. When we embrace others in the name of the Lord, we will see amazing things happen in our own spiritual lives. As we welcome children into our spiritual lives, we are welcoming Jesus deeper into our hearts.
Maturity is a desired commodity in our lives. We look up to seasoned individuals who exude wisdom and status. Those are not necessarily bad character traits. However, it is important to see things like God does. So, to see the world through the eyes of children is to see the world the way God wants us to. To exercise a child-like faith is to open our minds and free ourselves of the baggage of the world. When we remove cynicism, doubt and insecurity, we remove our blinders. And, to accept another simply in our efforts to glorify God, to raise His name, is to put faith into action and fill our hearts fully and completely with the love of Jesus Christ. Perhaps we should spend a little more time not acting our age and see what happens in our own faith journeys. I am certain we will find humility, excitement, and a much happier and fulfilled view of the world.