“And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.’ And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.” Mark 10:13-16
Faith like a child. This is how we are to come to Christ. That pure, wholehearted faith that believes Him completely. Faith that looks into His face and takes Him at His Word, trusting that He is faithful and true. Trusting in His perfect love, allowing that to drive out all fear.
I came to faith in Christ very early. I can’t remember a time when He wasn’t drawing my heart to Him. And I recall how confident my faith was. How unquestioningly I would follow, how boldly I would speak. There was still much I didn’t know or understand, ways I needed to grow and mature in character and faith, but I loved my God and trusted Him implicitly. To my heart, this memory is a challenge and an encouragement. A challenge to regain that confidence and boldness, to overcome fear or doubt or bitterness or whatever could hold me back now. An encouragement in knowing that I have been there. I know that faith. With the strength of my God within me, I can get to that point again. Because He is greater than anything that has happened since, and He is able to use all that has happened to bring Him glory. He is using it all to shape me into a vessel He can use for His purposes. I just need to trust Him in that.
Some people believe that children need to reach a specific age before they can come to Christ. I thank God that my parents aren’t among them. They spoke truth into our lives, living out their faith each day, showing us the love and wonder of our Lord, and gave us freedom in when and how we chose to respond. Because it was our choice to do so. I love the words Jesus speaks in this passage: “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.” As a child, one isn’t going to understand everything that goes into following Christ each day. The level of surrender that will be asked of them as they walk through life. But that’s OK. None of us understand it all when we first make the decision to follow. To believe. To trust. We simply come to Christ and choose to believe who He is and what He has done, we ask forgiveness for our sins, and we decide to follow Him the best that we can from that day forward. And in the days to come, as we learn more, as our eyes are opened to deeper truths, as we see those levels of surrender, we choose again to believe and to follow. It isn’t getting saved again; it’s simply reaching a deeper level of faith.
I think it’s a beautiful reality that in some ways, that deeper level of faith requires us looking back to the faith we displayed at first. The faith like a child. Faith that says, “I may not understand everything right now, but I trust You.” Not exactly going backwards in our walk with Christ, but rather seeking to shed the baggage that has built up since then. The weight of the world we carry on our shoulders. Burdens we aren’t meant to bear. We let them go, releasing them to the God who is our strength and hope. Our God who will never fail us. Our God who is faithful to draw us ever-nearer to His heart.