[guestpost]This is a guest post by Barbara Kain Parker. She’s become a wonderful online friend sharing God’s love in many ways, including social media. [/guestpost]
My 22-month-old granddaughter’s little arms clung desperately to her father, her eyes bright with tears of frustration and pain, and her head resting on his shoulder. She was sick and feverish. The look on her face made it very clear that nobody better even try to pry her away from the dad who’d held and comforted her almost non-stop for three days. Fortunately she was much better now, but she still wasn’t about to let go of the one who she knew would take extra special care of her, snuffles and all—the one she trusted.
Meanwhile, her healthy twin sister spied their mother walk into the room. Immediately her eyes lit up, and her face sparkled with joy, pretty much outshining the decorations on the Christmas tree. Here was her wonderful mommy—how fun! She ran to be picked up and cuddled, knowing without a doubt, she would not be turned away because she was loved and cherished.
Two identical little girls; two adorable little faces that are practically indistinguishable; one exhibiting the absolute trust of a parent from the depths of despair, as the other demonstrated a joy. It was a beautiful, contrasting picture of the simple faith of a child; the kind of faith that we need to duplicate in our relationship with God regardless of what is happening in our lives.
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
– Matthew 18:1-3 New International Version
Yes, Jesus talked about simple, childlike faith, but He also talked about the God-sized living to which such a faith can lead.
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.
– John 14:12 English Standard Version
Think about that for a moment. Jesus said that through faith we would do greater works than He did, so perhaps we should consider what that looked like.
He turned water into wine, healed the sick, raised the dead, captivated audiences, fed the hungry, prayed for His enemies, and laid down His life—that’s just to start.
John wrote of Him:
Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.
–John 21:25 ESV
That’s an astounding promise, but it gets even better because Jesus didn’t stop there, as He continued on to say:
Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
–John 14:13-14 ESV
Jesus said it, and we believe it because He never lies. So the question we must ask ourselves is why aren’t we living the God-sized life He promised. Is it because our faith isn’t big enough? Probably not. Much more likely, it isn’t simple enough. It isn’t the absolute trust of a child for a parent; whether in desperation or celebration, jumping into His welcoming arms.
And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.
–Mark 10:13-16 ESV
His arms are open—as widely spread to receive us, as they were when He was stretched out on the cross. We are God’s children so let’s behave like kids and let Him hold us, lay His hands upon us, bless us, and use us for His God-sized purposes.
[guestpost]Barbara, founder of Standing in Faith Ministries, endeavors to serve others by sharing the faith lessons God has taught her through the everyday trials of life. A survivor of breast cancer and several other major illnesses, she holds the unshakable belief that God is big enough to handle any problem that life throws at you. It is this faith that enabled her to work as a hospice nurse, providing comfort to the dying and their loved ones; it is this faith about which she writes and speaks. She is also a prayer minister, blogger, and owner of the Standing in Faith discussion group on LinkedIn. Barbara and her husband, Jack, live in Southern California; and they have one son and three grandchildren.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
The New International Version. (2011). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.