THE JOY OF BEING LIKE A CHILD
Have you ever watched your kids in amazement at their desire to find joy in any situation? It doesn’t matter if it’s a visit to the doctor’s office, a trip to the furniture store, waiting in an extremely long line, or sitting through a lesson on adjectives—our kids can find a way to find joy in the moment. This particular adult—me—who is so amazed at their amazement, wants to know…how is that?… Can you remember?
I’ve been contributing to the Parent Blogs for WTTB?® since last September of 2016, as an intern for the Founding Ministry of WTTB?®. As this will be my last contribution to the blog, I wanted to reflect on all that I have experienced and gained as part of the WTTB?® Ministry.
What I’ve experienced, is that we have this precious moment in time to help God continue to shape our children in their body, soul, and spirit, and this moment is extremely valuable. Our kids are no more finished when they leave our homes, than when they come out of the womb or appear at that first spark of light at conception. However, the opportunity we have in that duration to not only nurture them body, soul, and spirit; but also, to speak life, truth, and love over them, carries exponential effects. While we all may purpose to do this as much as we are able, it’s the conviction in our hearts that not one ounce of our time, truth-filled words, and love are wasted as we purpose to trust God with our kids, and our kids with God. He’s still molding and shaping them, even long after they’ve grown up, but we get to contribute to His creating process, in the time in between. How generous is our Father God! It’s not always easy, it’s not always fun, but every ounce is so worth it and so worthwhile. Particularly, when we do not lose our wonder and amazement at what He will do with even the smallest of seeds that we’re willing to invest.
The older we get the more we become aware of our time here in this world, and the more we begin to understand our role in shaping our destinies and the destinies of others. With that awareness, can come feelings of responsibility, and even stress or burdening. However, feelings of joy, hope, and excitement can also come. Have you ever asked one of your kids to do the dishes for the first time? I remember the first time I washed the dishes as a kid, and how excited I was to do it—not to mention how fun it was. It was no different the first time I asked my son to do the dishes—he was elated! Is this because dish washing is so fun, or because it was an opportunity to contribute to accomplishing something we had not before? Perhaps it was also because we knew, as children, that ultimately the responsibility for everything we needed wasn’t on our shoulders, but was provided for us. As we get older, that perspective can shift, where we are not only contributing, but we also see ourselves as ultimately responsible. That will quickly steal our joy, or at the very least, make it dependent on our ability to effectively do what we feel needs to be done. There’s no joy in that because there’s no childlikeness in that.
If joy is one third of the Kingdom of God, along with peace with God and right standing (communion) with God, we need to be kids again. Kids that are uninterruptedly nurtured and provided for by our Heavenly Father, kids that watch in amazement at Who He is and all that He does and will do, and kids that just want to contribute to His plan—Hand in hand. The beauty is, because it’s His plan, it will be accomplished and provided for—even if we seemingly break more dishes than we wash. We can enjoy the process—the journey—and let our excitement rise to the top in every situation we are a part of, because ultimately, no matter what we contribute, we are riding in our Daddy’s car and we don’t know yet all the places and things we will see together.
No matter the role and responsibility we have been given and accepted in each season of life—whether it’s caring for little runny noses, designing bridges, leading a government, or saving lives—our hope is that we are contributing in a way that brings life and health to those we affect. We can put that hopeful plan safely in the palm of our Father’s hands, as we do what He has given us to do. Then our childlike joy and excitement can freely bubble up to the top in the midst of our responsibility, knowing what we have contributed with Him—He will see it to completion. Each moment of every season He has given us is valuable. Hand each one to Him and be joyfully amazed at what you’ll do together, that will one day materialize into something greater than you could have ever imagined.
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