Jesus loves a good party. In the Old and New Testaments are examples of good friends with good food gathered in the name of the Lord. This is the heart behind our annual GT Gala. We want to usher in Christmas by celebrating what God celebrates: Jesus.
He woke me up in the night with this year’s Gala “theme” if you will. Child-like faith.
Being child-like might be different from our common holiday goals. Commercials, gadgets, and elvish personas promise to deliver giggles from little kids. And, to be honest, seeing their “eyes all aglow” does something to our insides. We spend a lot of money and effort so our kids get the counterfeit Christmas vibe. But let’s face it, we may or may not hit a home run.
Raise your hand if you have stayed up way past bedtime to assemble some random item. Bikes, car tracks, dollhouses, you name it. A million pieces finally come together and your kids look at the new contraption and. . . go play with the box it came in.
The Grinch taught us well.
“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!
‘Maybe Christmas,’ he thought, ‘doesn’t come from a store.
Maybe Christmas … perhaps … means a little bit more!,’ ”
The Lord told me that we think being childlike is something we grow out of. Whew. That stings. Picture the teen years. Once fun outings morph into sullen grunts and blank stares. The beaming children become bored spectators.
The Lord asked this question: Have you been talked out of your child-like wonder?
Are we eager children ready to be enthralled or are we awkward teenagers who occur more like entitled, ungrateful observers?
Jesus constantly calls us to become little children…like right now. Today.
Being Childlike starts with delight. God said that happy children are nice. But there is more.
My friends took their children to the local parade. The mom sent me a video of her 4-year-old trying to catch these huge bubbles. The joy on his face moved me. I kept watching the video. There it was. Sheer glee.
My other friend told me about strolling their almost 2-year-old through Christmas lights for the first time. Her face was beaming as she recalled her son pointing and repeating: Wow. Wow. Wow.
Beauty does that to us all— if we let it.
God’s purpose in beauty, in surprises, in simple play, is to create moments of delight. Moments of remembering, we are all still His children.
I asked Him, “Why do You go to all this trouble to make such delights for us?”
He asked back, “Well why do you go to all the trouble to bring delight to others (ie, the Gala)?”
I stuttered for a minute. “Because we love inviting other people into beautiful moments?”
I replayed the four-year-old with bubbles and the two-year-old with Christmas lights. There was the delight of the children, but there was ALSO the delight of the moms watching their children. The dots began to connect.
The Lord enjoys us enjoying the things He has created for us to enjoy.
Can you imagine the Glowing Face of God as He laughs over the wide-eyed wonder of His kids? God enjoys us enjoying His gifts in the same way these parents enjoy their children. No needed outcome. No profit loss statements. Only for the joy it produces.
This begs the question: Do we appreciate, adore, and enjoy His biggest gift, Jesus? It matters to God. It matters to your soul.
Another aspect of being childlike is belief.
God and I have gone through some serious challenges this year. He said He was training my Quick and Willing Yes. He wanted me to trust My Good Father whenever He asked me to do something no matter how outlandish. You can imagine, He has given me many chances to practice giving a quick and willing yes.
I see now that God wants to bless us with adventure. And. He wants us to bless Him back with our child-like response of delight and belief. A natural overflow of His life in ours.
Children believe so much easier and quicker. They don’t have all the mental noise and doubt to cloud their beliefs and thinking. You know this. Tell a child he is stupid and worthless, he believes it. Tell her that some guy in a red suit brings her gifts, she believes it. So guard your children’s ability to believe the truth and guard your own. This delights the Lord.
Jesus invited a little child to stand among them.
“Truly I tell you,” He said, “unless you change and become like little children,
you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this little child
is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
And whoever welcomes a little child like this in My name welcomes Me.”
God is inviting us to reacquaint ourselves with childlike faith. Our FAITH causes God to rejoice in the same way we marvel over children with bubbles and lights. We are joining in a Heavenly reality that brings Him deep satisfaction.
Child-like Faith produces Expectation. We believe so we become eager to receive from Him.
Let me just put this out there.
If you can teach your kids to “expect” Santa, which isn’t real, please for the Love of God, teach your children to EXPECT to Hear and receive from our GOOD GOOD Father. Teach your own heart and those around you to Delight, Believe, and Expect all the beauty of Jesus.
God said childlike faith is a superpower.
He told me if we truly understood the power of childlike faith, if we truly understood the joy of dependence on God, we would pray more because we would realize the ripple effects we all have in the lives around us.
This Christmas, remember Your Father enjoys you enjoying this beautiful life. Remember to honor and celebrate Jesus, our perfect Gift. It matters to God.