Sunday, June 25, 2006

The Joy of Being His Child

Matthew 11:28-30 (New International Version)
28"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Isaiah 30:15 (New International Version)15 This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength…”

These verses remind me of what it was like to be a child, free of the burden of adult responsibilities. I didn’t worry about the “big picture” of my life too much.

I remember hours spent with playmates inside sun dappled, hollowed out hedgerows, in our sleepy English village. We loved to climb the branches of the trees along the banks of the stream meandering through the fields. Sometimes we would explore the ancient church that stood, surrounded by stately elm trees, on the hill around which the village had grown over the past thousand years. In those days, churches weren’t locked and it was a place of sanctuary and exploration in my childhood. Inside the church, the clock in the bell tower ticked away comfortingly like a steady heartbeat, only breaking the sacred rhythm with a loud whirring as it geared up to strike each quarter hour. The centuries had infused the place with a fusty smell that was also strangely comforting, somewhat like the aroma of the “cubby hole” under the stairs at home with the wobbly thin metal door. My brother and I would pull it shudderingly closed behind us after we had squeezed ourselves into its dark recesses amongst the shoes and cleaning supplies. These memories transport me to a place of peace.

I want to reconnect with that time of play, peace and joy. I want to unload some of the “grownup-ness” of my life and just be my Father’s child. He invites me to a place of peace and quiet confidence and I accept his invitation with a glad heart. I can relax and trust that he has everything important in hand because he has proved himself to me. He has never, ever failed me.

Prayer: Dear Lord, You didn’t tell us to “grow up.” I thank you for urging us to be as little children. Although you call us to increasing maturity, you didn’t want us to be weighed down or overly serious. Today I want to practise just being your child and trusting every heavy care to you.

Luke 18:16-17 (New International Version) 16But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."

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