Learning from Children

“Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” (Luke 18:17)

A young father told this story: “We were visiting a family we knew. A few workers were busy with renovation work in this house at that time. Our little son sat on my lap and was busy with a toy when we suddenly heard the droning sound of a drill. It made him jump, and he looked at me with a little bit of fear. I smiled at him, then he smiled back and quietly kept on playing.”

The reaction of the father allowed the boy to continue playing quietly, for “Father didn’t get scared, so I don’t need to be scared either.” From this young boy, we can learn to have such a childish trust in our heavenly Father. Jesus encouraged His disciples a few times to learn from children. Children have several unique qualities that we as adults can learn from.

1) Trust

We know that a small child does not worry about whether there will be enough food tomorrow. He does not worry about clothing or other physical needs. A child trusts that his father or mother will provide the necessities. Parents know the needs of their child.

In unfamiliar surroundings, a child also trusts the leading of her father. A child feels safe and secure in the hand or arms of her father, no matter how unfamiliar the surroundings or circumstances may be. A child does not question: “Is my father really leading me the right way?”

2) Faith

The prayers of the children in my Sunday School class have often been a blessing to me. Their childlike faith is plain and simple, without effort and without doubt.

When a child approaches his parents with a serious need and receives approval, then he believes strongly that his parents will fulfill his request. As adults, we also need this childlike faith in relation to God’s Word and His promises.

3) Refuge

It is highly unlikely that a child would not run to her father or mother after a fall, an injury, or having been in danger. She does not try to master the situation herself or keep it a secret. No, in her helplessness, she will first run to her parents for help. A child will not ask: “Will my father even help me?”

We have the privilege to have the almighty Creator, who holds the whole world in His hand, as our heavenly Father. How much more is He able to care for us small people. In Philippians 4:6, we have the invitation: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God”!  We can trust Him not only in good times but also when our life doesn’t run according to our expectations and plans. When the next step is unknown, we should know and trust in the mighty hand of the Father to lead us right. In Hebrews 10:35, it says: “Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.” In Proverbs 3:5-6, we have a wonderful promise: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Yes, in our situation in life, we can flee to Him like a child in prayer and with steadfast faith expect help.

Have you already become a child of the heavenly Father? Then hold tight to His strong hand and let yourself be led obediently. Nurture an open, trusting connection and a pure relationship with Him on a daily basis. He will not disappoint your trust!

Dina Grötzinger, Eppingen (DE)

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