Occasionally, when I’m not sure what to write about, I start searching for a picture to inspire me. And recently, I found this picture of a little boy on a pier. It just spoke to me. With a whisper of innocence, this picture screamed at me the charm and carefree days of a child’s curiosity and inquisitive nature. It reminded me of my son.
As a mother, I wish I had a time machine to go back and enjoy the endless curiosity of my son when he was younger…the boundless energy…the innocence…the feel of a small, trusting hand holding on to mine as we walked through a parking lot or store…
It’s not parenthood itself that made me understand childlike faith. It’s the aftermath of parenthood. Watching my now 21-year-old, who is determined to do his own thing and do it his own way, makes me appreciate from a new perspective how God feels about us.
Just as I long for those moments where my son depended on me and trusted me with childish innocence, so does God long for us to put our hand into His. He wants us to trust Him to lead us. To protect us. To love us. To provide for us.
That’s the whole point of childlike faith. It’s not about being childish, but about recapturing the innocence that looks to our Heavenly Father for everything we need. To see Him as the all-knowing Redeemer who has good plans for us and will always have our best interests at heart.
Jesus explained this in Luke 18:15-17. He said, “Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it” (v.17, ESV). With these words, He reminds us that we can’t be willful or determined about our own way. We have to surrender our lives to God and trust in His leading. We have to trust Him for everything we have, and equally as important—trust Him with the things we don’t.
Just as we expect our children to trust that we won’t give them things that aren’t safe for them, so should we trust that God won’t give us what isn’t safe or good for us. When we embrace childlike faith, we may not understand, but we accept it.
As the popular Chris Tomlin song goes, “You’re a good, good Father…. It’s who You are…. And I am loved by You….”
Jesus said,“Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:9-11 ESV).
If we believe we have a good, good Father who will give us good things, it’s easy to redirect ourselves back to the days of innocence…before things became so complicated, and before we embraced the temptation of self-reliance.
Our Heavenly Father is good. He gives us what we need and withholds what we shouldn’t have. His plan always surpasses our own. And when we know that and believe that—we have followed Jesus’ instructions to have childlike faith.