But Daaaaaaaady, Gaaaah!: We Must Trust Like A Child That God’s Got This!

Posted: April 17, 2015 in 42-Gospel of Luke

Luke 18:15-17 — My youngest child, Taylor, was and is the spunky child. She is bold. She speaks her mind no matter what others think. She stands up for herself. She lets very few people run over her. I admire these qualities in her, but sometimes as a parent raising her it was challenging. If Taylor did not like what I was saying, her famous line was “But daaaaaady…gaaaaahhh…” followed by the storming out the room and doors slamming. However, Taylor never stopped loving and trusting her daddy. We have a great relationship today because she never stopped trusting me and I never stopped loving her. That brings us to today’s passage.

Child-like faith. You hear it talked about all the time in Christian circles. We must have the faith of a child. When Jesus says, “I tell you the truth…” in the gospels, you had better listen up. Here he says, “I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” What did Jesus mean by that? How are we to have child-like faith? Are we supposed to throw away knowledge and experience to believe in Jesus Christ?

Let’s think about this. What is child-like faith? Think back to when you were a child or think about your own children now. How much did you trust your parents? Go back there. Forget about all the stuff that has happened since then. Go back there. When you were little your parents, there was nothing that you thought your parents could not do. There was nothing that they could not fix. There was nothing that they could not explain. There was nothing that they could not answer. When you went to bed, you felt safe and secure in their house. Even when there was a bad storm, you knew you could run and jump in bed with mom and dad and feel safe. You held their hand to feel safe. You ran to your daddy when he got home from work. You depended on them for food, clothing, shelter, education. You name it we depended on them for it. It seemed natural when we were children. It was the natural order of things. We knew as children that we could not fend for ourselves. We loved our parents because they were always there for us no matter what. That kind of allegiance is not seen outside of childhood.

Even as adults, we typically still give reverence to our parents. I don’t think of my father as perfect and all powerful anymore but I do give him respect and honor for having raised me to adulthood. I trust him for his wisdom now. No matter how old my mother got or how old my daddy will get, they are still mommy and daddy. There is that bond that never goes away. Even though I am 52 years old, I still need a hug from my daddy every now and then.

Faith of a child toward their parent. Childlike faith in God. It means having a simple, trusting attitude toward God the same as children show their parents on whom they depend. Jesus wants us to enjoy delighting in his company as a child goes gaga when daddy gets home from work. Jesus wants us to have the same joy in reading His Word as a child has joy in the lap of their parents as they read a story to them. Jesus wants us to have the same feeling that we can go to Him and sit in His lap and tell Him all our problems just as our children do with us as parents. Jesus wants us to trust Him just a child standing on the edge of the pool and the child’s dad urging him/her to jump because daddy will catch you.

Does that mean we have to let go of our adult knowledge and experience when we come to faith in Jesus Christ. Certainly not. We are however going to have to lose our cynicism, our self-centeredness, our self-reliance. The only way that I can characterize it is that I just have this feeling that God has got this no matter what it is. I can have joy and security in that. No matter what I am going through, I know that God has my back. Just as I trusted my earthly father to take care of me and provide for and point me toward that which is best for me, I trust my Heavenly Father so much the more in this regard. There are times when I am crisis that this feeling is put to the test. Last year, there was a convergence of events, political, system-wise, training-wise, that almost cost me my job. The things that happened were out of my control and were, in part, due to a lack of training and, in part, due to interdivisional politics. In that time, I was stressed out. Lost 8 lbs. However, to freak out, lose my cool, and not keep pressing on through it, was never a thought. In the back of my mind behind my outward worry, there was a base-level trust that the Lord would protect and keep me regardless of the outcome. I trusted the Lord ultimately to provide for me and my wife. Through the grace of God, the truth of the situation was made clear and I found smooth waters again. Throughout my faith walk, there has been this trust, this back in the background belief that God would carry me through it all. No matter the circumstance.

Divorce, Job loss. Job changes. Moving from one town that I had lived in for 28 years to a new one 2 hours away. Moving from that new town after 3 years to a town on the other side of the country 2,680 miles away and then back to the Upstate three years later. There has a been that back of the mind trust in my God. Even when my self-centeredness wanted to worry, it struggled with that back of the mind trust in God. After all the things that I have been through since adulthood, and there’s been a lot (some of it self inflicted some by others), it has made me child-like in my trust in my Savior. I just know. I just know. I just know that God’s got it. He’s got it covered. No matter if I don’t necessarily understand it. He’s got my back. He’s got my best interest at heart. As a child, there were times I did not plain out understand why my dad made me do certain things, but now as an adult I see now that it was all to ensure that I learn the things I needed to learn to be a man in this cruel hard world. I do not always understand God’s plan but I do trust completely that He has one. I know that sometimes I get grumpy with God because things are not happening as fast as I want them to or when I want them to (think child saying from the back seat, “are we there yet, are we there yet?”), but bottom line I have to trust that the pace is set by Him for my own good. When I look back on the things and events of the past 14 years since my salvation, it was all intentful and purposeful by God. I am where I am right now because of His guiding Hand. He is preparing me now for what He has prepared for me next. Even though as a child, I sometimes complain about it, ultimately I must trust in His pace, His timing, His guiding hand.

Faith of a child. It’s a wonderful thing. God’s got your back. Trust it. Know it. Live like it. Amen.

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