The Kingdom Belongs to These Ones...

Living in our day-to-day can easily catch us up in monotony. In the midst of the bills to pay, the dishes to clean, the work to do, even the relationships to maintain, we can so easily lose the life-infusion that makes the day-to-day exciting.

Jesus said in Matthew 19:14 that the kingdom of heaven belongs to children, or rather, those like children. For children, the day-to-day is very often the wonder-to-wonder. Granted, children don’t have bills to pay and paychecks to earn, but the simple wonder of a child is a much needed reminder of how we should respond to God, his gifts, and even the soap suds in the kitchen sink. 

There are so many ways that children just have life figured out. Recently, one of my 3-5 year old ballerinas turned to me, an eager expression on her face: “Can I have a high-five?” I smiled, “Of course,” I said as I stretched out my palm to grant her request. A chorus of voices called out repetitions of this simple request. When I had given each outstretched little hand a high-five, I turned to see the first girl, her eager expression now plaintive. She sighed dramatically. “Now I want a hug.” I knelt down in front of her. “You can have a hug, too,” I laughed. Not surprisingly, I was obliged to give a hug to each of the other dancers in my class. 

Aside from being incredibly adorable, this exchange has such beautiful lessons in it. The simplicity of a child to simply admit that she needed encouragement and love in that moment and the simple trust she placed in me, her teacher. The others saw that the other girl received something good, and they didn’t want to miss out. One simple hug was all they needed, a single gesture of love and then we moved forward to the next thing. I can interact with God with that same simplicity; I can trust him to provide me the encouragement and love I need to take on the next thing. All I need to do is ask him for it. If I can so willingly oblige my dancers, how much more willing is our Father to do this simple thing for us?

Children have so many more lessons to teach us, but I’ll let you learn them for yourself. And what an incredible opportunity we have as a church family to spend time with the ones Jesus says we should imitate to gain the kingdom. As we teach them the words of Jesus, they can teach us to trust it, to wonder at it, and to take joy in it. 

Right now our children’s ministry is looking for 5 volunteers to invest in our kids. Please prayerfully consider filling this role, and contact Laura Talsma to sign up.

About the Author: Ana is a Michigan native who likes putting honey in her coffee, singing in the car, and dancing when walking would do. She currently works in the Ann Arbor area as a dance teacher and a receptionist and marketing consultant at Arbor Woman Pregnancy Center. Her heart is for every person to know the deep love, identity, and mercy that can be found in the Father.