There are multiple differences between adults and children. Adults can legally drive by age sixteen, vote or buy lottery tickets by age eighteen, buy alcohol at age twenty-one, then rent a car at age twenty-five. Remember when you were eight years old and you were dying to know what it was like to be an adult? You longed to be taller, to be able to have a job and make your own money to spend on whatever you chose. A dollar was a big deal in your eyes. You despised all the dumb rules that the adults made and couldn’t wait to grow up so you didn’t have to follow them or create your own.
As a child though, it was simpler to make friends. It was easier to run and play on a jungle gym for hours without end. You didn’t have to worry about being called into work or about completing the responsibilities waiting for you at home. Children can’t seem to wait to grow up, to know all the secret conversations that adults have and be able to sit at “the big kid’s table”. Yet, as adults, we long to go back in time to relive those moments that we could fall into our parent’s arms and have our cares taken away. We trusted them to care for us, to love us, and to guide us.
Then time goes on. We all eventually grow up. All of the little children become adults, either by age or by experience. We all go on through our lives, get an education, find a decent job, have a family of our own, and just keep working until we have enough money to retire. We lose our sense of creativity, our imagination, our dreams that we had when we younger. We lose our faith because our lives have offered us so many reasons to doubt ourselves, or doubt God.
Why does this happen? Where along the lines do we begin to doubt the sweet love that Jesus Christ has for us?
We become skeptical or jaded. We allow other humans letting us down affect our view of God, even if He never once has let us down. We try to find the science behind everything instead of trying to hear His voice. He asks us to place our faith in Him alone, but we usually respond with a hundred questions. We lose our awe for Him that we had when we sat in Sunday School and heard of all the miracles He performed. We tend to lose that moment of realization when we hear John 3:16 for the eighteenth time, that Christ died so that the world would be saved, ourselves included.
I remember when I was seven years old and it hit me that He died for me as well so that I would accept Him and love Him in return. I was excited beyond all reason, I talked about it so much with my parents and with my Sunday School teachers. I couldn’t wait to have Jesus in my heart! I wanted to be forgiven and be loved by my Heavenly Father. So just like any other young child, I closed my eyes, bowed my head, clasped my hands together and repeated the words my teacher said. I gave a big “Amen!” and then the other kids and my parents rejoiced! In my mind, this feeling was the equivalent of winning the largest stuffed animal from a game at the county fair. In other words, it was amazing.
So why did it stop feeling amazing? I knew I was still loved by God but I didn’t walk or act as if I was His Child. I had allowed life to drown out that sense of security that only He gave me. I began to feel abandoned, unheard, and doubt had swept in where my faith once was. Years later, I was a teenager and my focus had shifted from God to school and boys. I had no time to worry about Him. After living this way for so long, my self-esteem depleted and I wondered if God even existed. I went through challenge after challenge and questioned what kind of Heavenly Father lets His children suffer like I had.
What I failed to realize though; God wasn’t the one who abandoned me. I had abandoned my faith, as many of us do. We begin to seek answers and blessings from Him, but when we don’t receive the response we hoped for, we begin to question His faithfulness to us. It’s at this moment and moments like this, that we begin to lose our child-like faith and lose sight of whose child we are.
I must admit, it was a long journey for myself to come back into that free-falling faith that I felt with Jesus. From my human-ness, I didn’t always see the expanse of His ability. That’s just it though. He is God and we are human. We don’t see or know everything He does. We can’t always understand just what He is doing because our knowledge as people could never exceed His.
Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares The Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
This made me trust God so much more. I realized that I didn’t want to try and put my faith into the world because it would fail me time and time again. I no longer wanted to try to figure everything out on my own because I, too, made mistakes and failed more times than I care to admit. Yet, Jesus never sinned. He lived a perfect life and then chose to die on the cross, holy and pure. He was crucified and His blood removed the stain that my sin had left. He willingly embraced torture and anguish, for every single one of us. That is what drew me back to Him, to trust Him, and to love Him wholeheartedly.
Join me next week when I continue discussing innocent faith, what it looks like in day to day adulthood and how to have a Christ-like attitude using our Child-like faith!
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