At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
Often, when raising young children, life feels routine, mundane and not particularly exciting. Days can drag and bedtimes never come soon enough. I remember many such days. Yet God, if we are looking for him, can show up through the words or actions of one of these little ones.
Some years ago, when my son, Matt, and I were hanging in the kitchen on an ordinary morning, he suddenly turned to me, gave me a big hug, and announced, “Mommy, when we get to heaven I am going to hold you forever”! From his 5-year-old childlike perspective, our connection would never, ever end! God’s loving presence showed up in my kitchen that day, causing my focus to immediately turn upward in praise for these words that melted my heart.
Have you ever noticed the simple words or actions of a child and felt God move in your heart? Perhaps a little girl dancing for Jesus at church, a little boy’s face devouring an ice cream cone, a child squealing with delight while chasing lightning bugs, or the miraculous sight of a newborn baby? Jesus directed our attention to children and all we could learn from them. He laid out a challenge for us to become like children, to abandon ourselves to child-like faith, and even brought a child before his disciples declaring “whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me” (Matthew 18:5).
Can you remember a time when a child caused you to reflect on the goodness of God? How can you respond to God today with child-like faith?