A rose by any other name would smell as sweet was the quote from Shakespeare. Regardless of what name we give the flower, the fragrance is defined by what it is not what we call it; but oh the difference in words, or adjectives for that matter.
A recent devotion was titled “Like a Child”. The author, Aaron Tabor discussed the fine line between “childlike” and “childish”. Those two words, adjectives actually struck a chord with me. I thought how many times have I in my faith walk veered from the former and crashed with the latter?
Jesus recognized the validity of the childlike faith, when he admonished his disciples, “Don’t push these children away…mark this: unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.” Mark 10:14-16 (The Message). At that point it continues: “Then gathering the children up in his arms, he laid his hands of blessing on them.”
When we are childlike, we are willing to trust, believe and hope with sincerity and innocence, even when life’s storms blow hard, when the bottom falls out, when we feel crumpled and deflated. Forgive me when instead of looking for glimpses of you wherever I am and whatever I am in, I fall back to my childish self. The: why me? – I didn’t sign up for this – I can’t handle one more burden – It’s too hard Lord.
Yes that’s the wardrobe of impatience and demands that I throw at you Lord – and it’s all too comfortable to keep wearing the same old garment. Try as I might I find it hard to give it up and slip into your robe of forgiveness and grace. I look at the last part of Mark’s message: Jesus gathered the children in arms and blessed them! How many blessings did I miss because I was too childish and not childlike?
Satan just loves it when I give into defeat. I keep fighting the same battles and forget you Lord – you’ve already won the war. So, my childish behavior needs to be traded for childlike faith. It’s what you designed for me all along Lord. And when I by your grace am transformed then I no longer am a victim of life, but a victor of your love and righteousness.
Victim to victor – powerful words! I leave you with another quote from The Message in Romans 12:2
[Place Your Life Before God] So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.