I know why Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it". This thought came to me the this morning while driving with the kids. Ella requested I put on "real Jesus music", as opposed to the fake Christian music other children listen to. What she is referring to would be adult contemporary Christian worship music. She sang "take the shackles off my feet so I can dance" as loud as she could. She didn't care that the car next to her was looking at us (our windows were down); and she certainly did not care that she really cannot hold much of a tune. In fact, in this instance, it never occurred to her to care. She knows she loves Jesus, she knows He died for her, and she knows she loves to sing about it...end of story. Child-like faith, plain and simple.
Children receive truth so freely. They look to their parents for support, encouragement, love and answers. Though the time comes quickly when they start asking why and digging deeper for answers, there is an age of innocence that all children pass through when they simply trust. They simply trust that God is who is he says he is. They simply trust that God never ceases watching over them and will always provide for their needs. They sing as loud as they can in a car, with the windows down and hands raised to heaven because that's just what you do. Ella once took into school the song "Shackles" to share and sing to her class, because they had to bring in something that started with the letter "S". She told her teacher that God had taken shackles off her feet and she wanted to sing about it...she was four at the time. How many adults would do that?
Wouldn't it be wonderful if I started acting a little more like Ella. Wouldn't it please my Father in heaven to watch me raise my hands without inhibitions a little higher while praising Him in the car, even if someone was sitting next to me watching. Wouldn't it please our Lord if he saw us walk into work, push play on the CD player and sing about the shackles He took off our feet so we could dance. I don't mean to imply He frowns in disapproval if we do not, I just believe that He rejoices in our rejoicing. In Luke 10:21 Jesus says "I praise you Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children". Jesus was referring to the seventy-two messengers that returned with such joy over the success they had seen and experienced while ministering in Jesus' name. There are two things from this verse that I think are relevant here: First, He thanked God for giving those with child-like faith the authority to minister in His name...what a lesson! Secondly, the word for Jesus' joy in this instance means to "exult, leap for joy, to show one's joy by leaping or skipping". This is how even Jesus showed His joy....loudly without inhibitions!
Thank you Ella for being an example to me of what true faith and worship look like. In Luke 21, Jesus came along side of his people and was full of joy with them. I know without a doubt, He sat right next to you in our car this morning full of child-like joy right along side of you!
I love you Ella!