…he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”

Matthew 18:3-6

 

What is it about children that Jesus values so much? It’s probably similar to what most of us value. It’s probably similar to the reason I enjoyed photographing them so much when I was younger and more agile.

Children, especially the very young ones, feel free to be themselves, they don’t pretend to be something they’re not unless they’re play-acting. Children are dependent on their parents, humble. Children have an eagerness to learn, to explore, to be creative. These are wonderful qualities. A delight for us to see.

Do you remember what it was like to be a child?

These days it would be well for us to have some of the childlike qualities Jesus has in mind. To be humble before God. To remember we’re a child of our Father, someone we can trust. To look to him as provider of all things—our world, our lives. Safety, peace.

A person with a childlike faith does not fear the way the world fears. He has the assurance of a home beyond his earthly home. He knows he has the Father’s love. He has the comfort of believing that Jesus is his friend, a friend who will never leave him.

There’s a danger, though, when the childlikeness in us becomes naivety. When we trust God greatly we may be inclined to trust our teachers in the same way. We could be “made to stumble”—led astray, hurt.

For those of us who have this tendency, it would be wise to remember:

  It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to put confidence in man.
Psalm 118:8

…because God is always there. Always with us.
We can trust him…always

marja