Matthew 19 vs 14 says…But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” Matthew 18 vs 3 & 4 says… then He said” I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like children, you will never get into Heaven. So anyone who becomes as great as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven…”
I have read these verses many times before. I kind of just browsed past them, not really understanding what Jesus meant when He said become like little children. Over the past two weeks we have been fortunate enough to be away on holiday. During our holiday we had very few really sunny and beautiful days and the rest was crummy weather…in my opinion. We were annoyed by rainy days as well as the dreaded load shedding our country is experiencing at the moment. Now when you are by the ocean rainy weather is not really ideal for your long awaited holiday. We had some really pleasant days by the pool when it wasn’t raining. We went to a reptile park. We spent some time shopping and we went to watch a movie. In between those totally awesome days we had days where we were stuck indoors due to the weather. Our apartment was really tiny but beautiful. For a child, to be stuck indoors on holiday is not fun at all and even more so for the parent who has to listen to the complaining.
The reason I’m telling you all this is because I’m trying to paint a picture to make you understand what I’m about to write.
I have a 6 year old daughter, she can be quite the terror some days, as I type this I hear her in her bedroom squealing because she probably is having a fight with her brother. Yet this 6 year old daughter of mine has taught me so much this holiday.
Each day for breakfast, lunch and dinner we would ask at the table for someone to say grace, my daughter would always jump to the opportunity, she never once hesitated, even on the days we were in restaurants. During her prayer she would always say “thank You Lord for this day, it’s the best day ever.” As well as “ thank You Lord that we can spend this time together” and “please grant us travel mercies for today”. Every single time she prayed these three things came up. I never took notice of it until we were on our way home, I had a lot of time to think on our trip back and I was amazed at the little things this child of mine would say.
You see, when it was a bright and sunny day and we were on the beach, to her it was the best day ever. When it was raining and miserable and she was stuck indoors, it was the best day ever. When we went to a reptile park full of snakes and crocs (not her ideal place to go), it was the best day ever. When we put salad on her plate for dinner instead of something she liked, it was the best day ever. When we were sitting in complete darkness, it was the best day ever. To her every day was the best day ever. (She was a good example on how to praise God on the good days as well as the bad days.)
She also learnt how to swim this holiday. As we were swimming around the pool together, every now and then water would go up her nose or she would take a mouthful of water down the wrong pipe here and there every now and then… every time this happened, she wouldn’t cry or moan, she would just giggle and carry on swimming, the one day she even said, well at least I’m drinking water now. She was so positive about everything.
Most nights she would run into my room and tell my husband and I not to forget to pray before we went to bed.
The days we were locked up because of the rain she kept herself occupied with two tinkie boxes and her buckets and spades. She would always tell me how much fun she was having. The rest of us were complaining and she was smiling…having the best day ever.
During this holiday her molars on the left side of her mouth started pushing out, as you know that can be quite painful. Also with all the swimming she was doing she managed to get earache in her right ear. So you know that chewing can be painful. Even though I was giving her medicine she spent quite some time in pain. She told me the one day that she is battling to chew on her left side because of her ear and she can’t chew on her right side because of her tooth, but I mustn’t worry because she can chew her food with her front teeth like a bunny. Always positive. She really is a remarkable little girl.
I look at little kids, they come running in with little flowers that they picked for you because they were the most beautiful flowers ever, to us we see a weed. They bring you gifts of rock and a bark shaped in a heart and sometimes a snail or two…and we thank them and discard their little gift.
When it rains and a rainbow appears, they marvel at it, we tend to have a quick look and brush it off. They dance in the wind, we try and shelter from it. They make waves in the bath water. They make up the most beautiful stories full of love and laughter. They are not afraid to talk about God or pray out loud…most adults I know battle to pray and talk about God and they have been Christians for longer than my daughter has been alive.
Last night when we got home, we hadn’t seen our dogs for two weeks, my brother had to babysit them for us. When we arrived home, my daughter sat on the floor crying and telling our dogs how much she missed them…so much love, so much passion. Kids are so incredible.
So to me it makes sense when Jesus says we must be like the little children because you can learn so much from them.
I just want to say that I am so grateful to God for blessing me with my children. I may be trying to teach them how to do things in life but I am sure learning so much more from them than they are learning from me.
Here is where I want to encourage you…
Embrace each moment you get with your child, the big moments and especially the small moments.
The bible says in proverbs 22 vs 6… “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is older he shall not depart from it.” Do that and also learn from your kids, they can teach you so much as well.
Try and be positive in all things just as kids are. Kids can teach you a lot about being kind and accepting one another.
But most of all pray for your kids and spend time with them because one day they won’t be small anymore and you will regret not spending every moment with them.