by Kathy Lay
Verse of the Week: Mark 10:15—I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it. (NIV)
With that crisp hint of autumn in the air, my husband was eager to get out in the woods to clear some areas and hang some deer stands. The kids are always up for a hike and put on long sleeves, pants, and rubber boots so they could tromp “the 45” with Dad. Skylar was bound and determined that he’d be in full camouflage and he found his pants with no problem. But his camo shirt wasn’t where it was supposed to be. He checked his pants drawer just in case it had found its way into the wrong spot, but to no avail. Then he did what any self-respecting six-year-old would do… “Moooooom!”
I went through the same procedure he’d already been through and even checked his closet in case I’d been really ambitious the day I’d put the shirt away, but it was nowhere to be found. I heaved a big sigh and said, “Buddy, just pick a different shirt. I can’t find that one.”
That’s when my boy, laying comfortably on the floor as he waited for me to search, said, “Can I pray to God and Jesus first, and then we’ll look again?”
Okay, here’s the part of the story that I wish could be different. This is the point I wish I could write that my response was an enthusiastic, “Yes, Skylar! That’s exactly what we need to do!” But instead, I actually hesitated. I mean, I had just looked through those entire drawers and that shirt was not there. So I ended up softly saying, “Go ahead, Buddy,” and biting my tongue so that I didn’t add, “but don’t be disappointed if we still can’t find it.”
I watched as my little man of faith rolled to his side, folded his hands, and prayed silently with his precious eyes screwed shut. I said my own little prayer that went something like this: “God, this could be a faith-breaker for this little boy. Please help us find that shirt!” But I confess I offered it up while already trying to decide how to phrase the lesson when the shirt still wasn’t there.
Now this is the point in the story when I know Jesus just had to be shaking his head, saying to me “Oh, ye of little faith,” and smiling because he was about to astound me…When Skylar said "Amen" the shirt drawer came open for the third time and...Voila! There was the camo shirt! I told Skylar with much ado that Jesus sure did hear his prayer and see his faith. But he simply put on his shirt and said, “Yep! Thanks, Jesus” very matter of factly, but happily. What he was not, was surprised. He expected it all along. And I really hate that I didn’t.
Why are we like that sometimes? We know we are to walk by faith, not by sight. We know to ask in expectation, right? This week’s scripture (above) illustrates exactly what happened: I didn’t approach the throne as a little child and that prevented me from entering into it a higher realm of my relationship with God. Instead of Skylar’s “thanks, Jesus, I knew you’d come through” approach, which just added another solid layer to his faith, I was lagging behind, stupefied at a miracle. Now I’m not saying that didn’t increase my faith too, because it did. But Skylar was in camaraderie mode and I was just kind of a dumbfounded observer. I never want to lose my sense of awe, but I guess I want to move from being surprised when my prayers are answered to simply being truly appreciative and grateful. That’s a closer relationship, don’t you think?
Lord God, your Word tells us in 1 John 3:1 that the love you’ve lavished on us is so great that we are your children. Lord, then help us come to you with the faith of a child. Help us to pray in full expectation of your power being manifested in our lives, so that when we experience it, we marvel at it and appreciate it, but we’re not surprised by it. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Think back to times you’ve been utterly floored by God and how he answered a prayer so quickly and in just the way you asked. What was your reaction? Do you feel your reaction lines up with your faith?
Luke 10:21—At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.” (NIV)
Matthew 18:4—So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. (NLT)
1 John 5:4—For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. (NLT)
Galatians 3:26—For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. (NLT)
Psalm 116:6—The Lord takes care of the childlike. I was brought down, and He saved me. (NLV)