A little child sits at the table in his kindergarten classroom, scribbling away in a coloring book. His eyes are laser focused on what he is coloring, but at the sound of his name being called by his father, his head shoots up. He drops his pencils, jumps up from the table, and runs into his dad’s open arms.
Watching a child’s interaction with their parent or guardian can be sweet. And if we have children of our own, we know what it is like to watch our child come to us with joy. But have you ever stopped to consider what we can learn from these interactions? Children have a lot to teach us about how we can approach the Lord. The ways in which they respond to people and the world around them have a lot to say about our own responses. Little children teach us how we can come to God with wonder, humility, and trust.
Come to God with Wonder
Have you ever watched a kid in awe of something? Their eyes get all big. Their mouth drops open a little bit. Maybe they let out a small woah. It can be entertaining and sweet to witness a kid respond in wonder. When we get older, we often lose sight of this posture of wonder. We don’t marvel at things around us as much anymore, especially because we get caught up in our day-to-day responsibilities. With our focus on our work, to-do lists, struggles, and more, we don’t always take the time to stop, look, and marvel. This is why children can encourage us to return to an attitude of awe. What if we looked at everything around us with a newfound sense of wonder? What if we looked at our God like a child would?
Think about the last thing that made you stop and stare. Maybe it was the colors of a sunset, the vastness of the ocean, or the beauty of a mountainscape. Now consider what it would look like to have that same marveling but directed toward God. Perhaps it would look like coming to God in prayer and praising Him for His goodness, greatness, faithfulness, and more. Maybe it would look like taking a moment to consider everything around us and worshiping God for the world He has made. Or perhaps it would involve simply sitting still and considering God’s great glory. Childlike wonder causes us to marvel at our great God and give Him the worship He so deserves.
Come to God with Humility
When children marvel at something, it is usually because they recognize its greatness. They recognize that whatever they are staring at is bigger than them or more amazing than they could possibly fathom. Kids understand that they are small in comparison to the majority of the things in our world, therefore they also understand their helplessness. Kids know they need their parents to help them tie their shoes, make them food, and drive them to school. One day they will have the skills to do these things, but for now, they are dependent on those who care for them. The more we age, the less dependent on people we can become. As we gain more responsibility and develop our skills, we tend to grow self-reliant. We might look to some people for help but typically try to do things on our own and in our own way.
This kind of attitude can keep us from looking to the Lord. When we try to be self-reliant, we do not see our need for God’s help. And we always need God’s help. Even if we try to do everything for ourselves, we will always experience failure. We will always experience a moment when we are utterly helpless. While we often see failure and helplessness as curses, they are actually blessings that point us to our need for the Lord. Recognizing our dependence on God humbles us. Jesus speaks to this attitude of humility in Matthew 18:1–5. He says, “unless you turn and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child—this one is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” In order to become a child of God, we need to recognize our helplessness. We need to admit that we cannot save ourselves and then submit ourselves to the only One who can save us—Jesus.
And even after we come to Christ, we are to still have a humble posture. Rather than trying to be self-reliant, we can come to God and admit our dependence on Him. Just as children humbly look to their earthly parents for help, so should we look to our heavenly Father for help.
Come to God with Trust
Because little children know they are helpless, they are often quick to trust. Their dependency on others causes them to trust that they will be taken care of. Each day they trust that their parents or guardian will keep them safe, secure, and well-fed. They even easily trust someone that they don’t know, because they believe that person will be good to them. We usually don’t have this child-like trust as adults.
As adults, we can struggle to trust other people, especially because our eyes are opened to the brokenness of this world. And we can struggle to trust God. We can be the opposite of children by doubting that our Heavenly Father will take care of us. But part of humility involves placing our trust in the Lord. Dependency requires us to not only look to God for help but believe that He will help us. What if we trusted God as much as a child trusted those around them? What would change about our relationship with the Lord if we regularly came to Him with a readiness to trust Him? We would likely find ourselves less anxious, frazzled, and overwhelmed. We would likely say along with David, “I have calmed and quieted my soul like a weaned child with its mother; my soul is like a weaned child” (Psalms 131:2).
As believers, we have been blessed with a heavenly Father that we can look at with wonder, come to in humility, and depend on eternally. May the little ones around us encourage us to posture ourselves like they do before our heavenly Father.
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