Sunday, September 06, 2009

Childlike Joy...

As I was out walking our puppy and enjoying the beautiful end-of-summer weather, I noticed how he took note of everything from the stray leaf to the (to my eyes) unseen insect. There was an excitement and a joy to all he saw. He would pounce on a leaf and then chase it if he missed. It caused me to ruminate upon a time when our children were very small, especially our first-borne.

I recall sitting with her out in the back yard of our home and noting how much joy she found in the smallest of things, from a dandelion flower to a leaf to a bug. It struck me at the time how, in her eyes, it was all new and exciting, whereas to me as an adult it had become routine and mundane. That thought was renewed as I watched our puppy play.

It made me also think of how Jesus asks us to come to him "as little children." Often we interpret that to mean "childlike faith" or "faith that doesn't think too much!" Instead, maybe we should think about the joy that a new Christian (babe in Christ) has as he sees for the first time the beauty of his Savior, as he reads the marvelous words of Scripture with new eyes, as he rejoices in the smallest moves of his God. Do we as "mature" Christians still do that? Or has it become routine and mundane? Has our worship become fitful and routine? Has our Scripture reading become blase? Have we lost the wonder that the Creator of the universe condescended to become a helpless baby in a manger? Has the thought of God Himself dying a torturous death on a Roman cross become just another "given"?

Sadly, I know from experience that the answer to those questions is at some point in a believer's life, "yes."

Do you remember the wonder and joy you had as a new believer? Do you desire to regain that?

Jesus desires that for you. Remember His admonishment of the church in Ephesus, that they had abandoned their first love. He wants your a first love! So give it to Him.

Read His Word with anticipation of the Holy Spirit illuminating it in your heart. Pray (and listen) with the knowledge that the Father hears you. Watch for the little things each day that point to a God Who cares for the smallest details of your life, even when it doesn't look like things are going the way you would have planned. He numbers the hairs on your head! Consider where you came from and that you have a Savior who made it possible for you who were an enemy of God to become an adopted child of the King! Take time for Him in meditation on His Word and in prayer, not as an evangelical "quiet time" duty, but rather as an intentional desire to draw closer to Him in all aspects of your life. When the King commands something for you, His adopted child, in the Scripture...then DO it! Do it both because He is King and because He is your loving Father, Who wants the best for you. And in doing His commands not out of a desire to gain favor, but out of a desire to please your Father, you show you LOVE Him.

And that childlike joy and excitement will once again be yours.