In the middle of my emotional tornado my seven year old daughter stumbled into my room, weeping. Another bad dream. I pulled her into my arms and she sniffed against my shoulder, mumbling something about grenades and bad guys – she has two older brothers, so I guess that explains it.
Within five minutes, she was breathing the peaceful breath of deep sleep…and I was suddenly sobered by the irony. Here I was struggling internally with my own nightmares of sorts, drowning in a whirlpool of nervous thoughts and fears, and trying to work through it all by myself. Just like my daughter, I needed to run to the One person who could give me the peace of mind I needed…the rest for my soul…Someone I could trust completely.
What happens to us when we grow up and become adults? With kids, there is simple trust…simple belief. We take our parents at their words and trust them to do exactly what they said they will do.
In Matthew 18:1-6, Jesus brings a child before his disciples and says, ‘Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest int he kingdom of heaven.’
Now, of course Jesus didn’t mean we’d transform into children to get to heaven…and he didn’t mean we’d become ‘innocent’ as a child either. Jesus referred to the complete trust and beautiful dependence a child has. A child is helpless, needy, and doesn’t pretend to be anything else. They recognize they need help, just like my daughter, and they are quick to seek the one who can help them. Children find acceptance, truth, support and their worldviews from the adults around them.
Jesus says that unless we humble ourselves to the realization that we are helpless and needy – unless we confess our need for help in our sinful states, then we can’t get to heaven. We must rely on Him for everything – and the best part is, He is faithful. He IS trustworthy. He is the BEST answer for our nightmares and anxious thoughts and we can trust him as completely as a child.
When our nightmares come, when our hopes quiver under the weight of disappointment, trials, or pain – Jesus is a sure foundation in the storm. His arms of love provide refuge in the storms of life. His promises are secure and his love everlasting. We can run to him.