This post was originally published 4/07/2018.
There are so many precious little moments that I share with my daughter every day, but one of my favorites is watching her fall asleep.
Her chubby hand, holding on to the edge of my shirt or wrapped around my finger. Always holding on. Her beautiful eyes, staring up into mine – blinking slower and slower, until finally they surrender to sleep and she lets out a contented sigh, sinking deeper into my arms.
As I watch her, so still and peaceful, I am reminded of Jesus’ words in Luke 18, “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” (Luke 18:16-17, emphasis added)
In this passage, the disciples are rebuking people who are bringing their little ones to Jesus for blessing (the NASB uses the word babies). But Jesus corrects them, saying that the very kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these children.
What is the first thing you think of when you think of a baby? I think of dependence. Innocence. Trust.
The kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.
Vivian may not be aware of it in an articulate way, but she is completely dependent on me. She needs someone to feed her, change her diaper, clean her, move her from place to place, etc. She simply cannot take care of herself. She’s helpless.
The older we get and the more capable we are of taking care of ourselves, the more responsibilities we have and are expected to fulfill. That’s just how life works. But I think that all too easily, we forget that the reality is that we are still completely and utterly dependent on Christ.
That breath you just took? God gave that to you. You could not have done that on your own.
We don’t like to be reminded of how small we are. I know that for myself, the world all too often revolves around me. But then I step back, and I think about how many other millions of people there are, all living individual lives, and it’s overwhelming. Then I think about how even all put together, we are still so small. A tiny speck in the universe. God is simply that big. He is omnipotent, He is everything. Whether or not we like to admit it, we are wholly dependent on Him.
I love how innocent babies are. The longer I’m exposed to this sin-ridden world, the longer I exist in this body of flesh, the more foreign the word ‘innocence’ becomes. But then I look at my sweet girl, and she is so pure. By no means am I saying she is without a sin nature, but at four months old, it has yet to express itself. While she has experienced sadness in her baby life, she has no concept of evil. What a beautiful thing that is.
And as she lies in my arms, soft and relaxed, I am aware of her trust. She knows that I will take care of her, she knows that I am her safe place. She trusts me implicitly.
Do I trust God like that?
Do I relax in His arms, sweetly surrendered to the knowledge that He is in control? Do I light up every time I see Him because of my love for Him, and because I am deeply aware of how He loves me? Do I rejoice in knowing that He will always take care of me?
Do I strive to be like Him, to pursue holiness? Do I try to be innocent in matters of evil? Or do I justify things because the world deems them acceptable?
Do I live aware of my fragility and dependence, humbled by and grateful for His grace and mercy? Or do I live instead as though I were in control?
I think this may be what Jesus meant when He said such as these. An innocent child, loved by His father and living in trusting dependence on Him.
It’s interesting the perspective change that comes with being a parent. You begin to see things in a new light. I am so thankful for all of the little moments with Vivian. Keep teaching me, little girl.