Courage Under Fire: Becoming Like A Child Takes Courage
by Marilynn Chadwick Sometimes God provides a deep spiritual lesson when we least expect. While reading through Matthew's Gospel one day, I was struck by Jesus's words to His disciples: Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:3 NIV). The word used in this verse for change means "to repent." That’s a strong word. What keeps me from becoming like a little child? In what ways do I need to repent? Then, it suddenly became clear. I need courage to become childlike. The next verse gave even more motivation. Whoever becomes simple...like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom (Matthew 18:4 MSG). If we truly want to experience the kingdom of God like children, we must have the courage to make some changes. We must dare to become simple. Becoming simple means lightening our load, which in turn, helps us navigate the daily stresses and trials that come our way. Becoming simple also helps us see more clearly when we face challenges. I’ve come to believe that in some way, becoming simple makes us brave. I can think of a lot of words to describe my life, but simple isn't one of them. We live in a busy and noisy world with to do lists and deadlines. Simple? Who can afford to be simple? I decided to do a little "research” about children on my own. I was sharing a cup of tea one afternoon with my then four-year-old granddaughter, who was feeling quite grown up as she carefully balanced the delicate cup and saucer on her lap. "Guess what Jesus tells grownups," I said to her. "We have to be like little kids if we want to know him better. Why do you suppose Jesus likes kids so much?" She just looked at me for a minute as if to say, “You should know that answer.” And then she said matter-of-factly, "Because we are so fun to play with." It was that simple. To a child, Jesus is not only God of the Universe, He is also their friend. He actually likes children. My granddaughter's natural assumption? Jesus likes her. Not because she's wise, rich, talented, or in control. He likes her just because she is who she is. And probably because she's fun to play with. In this complex world, I must repent and let go of control if I want to become simple. If I want to run my race with courage. Yes, it's simple to believe in Jesus and to trust him like a child. Simple, but certainly not easy. It takes courage to believe like a little child. Humility to admit my need for God’s strength. I have to wrestle to the ground all the doubts and fears that attack my mind. All the clutter that robs me of clarity. If I want to clearly see Jesus, I have to get back to simply believing in him. Like a child.