So often, we adults – when speaking with children – often ask them something they know nothing about, expecting a positive response. I’ve done it. I’m sure you have as well.
For example, I’ve heard a parent ask their child, “Would you like to go to the museum?” To which the child responds with such excitement, “YEAH!!!” And, of course, this child has never been there before, nor really knows what they are so excited about. They don’t even know what a “museum” is. They just know it’s some place new to see or explore, and that their parent is taking them there.
Jesus once told his disciples in Matthew 19:14, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Have you ever thought about your excitement for Heaven? Just as children get excited over the little adventures here on earth, so should we for our eternal home that awaits. Are we supposed to really become as children, since “the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these”? Well, yeah…but children in what sense? Physically? No.
Children have a sense of awe and wonder, an innocence and purity that we adults have thrown aside or become skeptical of. We’ve “grown up” someone might say.
Losing a sense of innocence and purity is exactly what happened to Adam and Eve in the garden when they disobeyed God. The serpent said, “…God knows that…your eyes will be opened…knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:5) And he wasn’t far from the truth in this case. What Adam and Eve didn’t understand was the full comprehension of what this entailed or meant.
I’ve heard it said before that a person can be naive, but they can never be “more naive”. In other words, once you’ve moved away from one end of the spectrum – if naive is one end – you can never return. Think of it like telling a joke. If one person told you a joke, and five minutes later another person tried to tell you the exact same joke – would it be as funny or funnier than the first time? Not usually. You would have expected the punchline already – especially, if it wasn’t a particularly good one. Lol.
Our Heavenly Father expects us to respond as children to Him. We should learn to trust Him as children trust their parents, and be obedient to His rules and requests in the same way. We should be excited to be with our Father and “Elder Brother” Jesus in daily quietness and learning from His Scriptures, bubbling over with eager anticipation of what lies ahead in the Heavenly home He’s preparing for us. We should flee from evil and be “innocent as doves” yet “shrewd as serpents” in a world that would betray us in an instant.
To be like a little child by heaven’s terms means that we want to be with our Father, be like our Father, and we desire nothing else. We should be ecstatically looking forward to the day when Jesus will bring us home – to be with our Father – in the marvelous kingdom He’s preparing for us.
So, what excitement do you have in life – both now and for eternity? Is it like a “little child”? Do you have that sense of wonder, or have you lost it and need to revive it? You have a whole new year and week ahead, a brand-new beginning starting today. Make the most of it and re-learn what it means to have the excitement like a child, according to God’s definition.
Good luck and God bless in the days ahead!