A Child Shall Lead Them

CCF12102011_00002There is something young children know that adults would be wise to learn. In fact, if we grew up in a loving family, chances are we once understood this well, but as we grew to adulthood, we lost the ability and the memory. What am I talking about? Love. Love for our parents. Love for God.

Have you ever observed, or do you recall the joy your young son or daughter expressed when you returned after a day apart? Do you recall your daughter running headlong into your arms? Do you remember your son following you around, hanging on your every word, loving every moment in your presence?

For most of us, such memories were short-lived. Young children love to spend time with their parents. They adore their fathers and mothers. Little girls want to marry their daddies and little boys want to marry their moms. They look at us with complete trust, knowing that we will do all in our power to protect them and meet their every need.

From the parental point of view, what loving parent doesn't long for time with their children? We would do anything for our kids. We would sacrifice our very lives for theirs. There is nothing that brings more joy than to have our son or daughter want to spend time with us.

Have you ever thought that perhaps this is how God feels about us? God is our heavenly Father. As the perfect Father he longs for time with His children. And if we could step back and reside in the heart of a child again, we might just long for time with Him as much as He wants time with us.

The most important person in the universe is God. He loves us - each one - with love so great we cannot comprehend it in a thousand lifetimes. He waits for us - like a parent waits to hear from their children - with a longing so great it can cause an ache within us. Parents know that little children love us unconditionally. But adult children love with different expectations. Their longing for us is not the same as our longing for them. I say this because I know how I felt about my own parents. I never realized the longing they had to spend time with me until I had children of my own. I wish I had realized it sooner.

As a child of God, I struggle with loving God the way He loves me. How does one love God so passionately? How does one love God sacrificially? I have much to learn from children.

Because a child understands that kind of love. And if we take it to heart, a little child truly can lead us to do the same.