Devotion for the Week...
One morning last week I was tidying up the kitchen while the boys I babysit were playing with blocks and trucks on the kitchen floor. I finished my tidying and they were still content playing, so I picked up my phone and sat on the floor to check Instagram. Only a moment passed before the 1 year old noticed that I was sitting down and he immediately picked up a book that was on the floor, came over and plopped himself down in my lap. At the time, I didn't think much of it. I just reached up to put my phone back on the counter and started reading the book. It's not like this is an unusual occurrence after all. I often have one or the other of them sitting on my lap, either with a book or just for a snuggle or a round of Pat-a-Cake.
It was only later that I started thinking about how this little guy just assumes he can sit in my lap. There's no question in his mind that he is welcome to sit on me, or to take my hand and drag me over to whatever it is he wants to show me. Not only does he assume that he can do those things, I'm pretty sure he assumes I want him to do those things. That I want to give him my attention, and really, that there's nothing I'd rather do.
Adults aren't like that. We worry about whether or not people like us. We worry that we're bothering people if we need to ask them for help, or if we need their attention for a moment. If the other person is someone we consider to be above us in some way, then we worry about whether or not we're worthy of that person's time. One year olds have none of those issues.
There's a story in the Bible about parents who were bringing their little children to Jesus, hoping that He would bless them. Jesus' disciples started to shoo them away, rebuking the parents for trying to waste Jesus' time. Jesus saw what was happening and He got angry too, but not with the parents. To His disciples, He said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these" (Mark 10:14). I've always seen this incident used to explain to children that no matter how young they are, they matter to God. I've never thought about it as anything beyond that.
But last week, I remembered the next thing He said. I imagine he turned so that His words were addressed to everyone, not just to His disciples, as He said, "Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it" (v. 15). Think about that for a moment, and think about how a 1 year old would approach God.
If God were physically in the room, there's no doubt in my mind that every child around would be trying to climb into His lap. Would the adults? Or would we be too worried about that thing we said last week, or too busy thinking that God would probably rather spend time with so-and-so than with us? Or would we be convinced that God's not really interested in what we have to say, so we shouldn't bother Him? The insecurities that complicate our relationships with other people are magnified when it comes to our relationship with God, aren't they?
The truth is, while God isn't physically in the room with me as I type this, or with you as you read it, He is in the room. He's always in the room. And He wants us to come to Him. If we have Jesus, then we are welcome. It's as simple as that. Our insecurities come from how we view ourselves and have nothing to do with how God sees us.
Like a 1 year old, we can assume that we are welcome to approach God. Not only that, we can know that there's nothing He wants more than for us to come. Having that relationship with us is why He sent Jesus, after all.