Messiah made it very clear that if we are to enter the kingdom of heaven, then we must do so with the heart of little children. This is recorded in the Gospel of Matthew.
Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:2-4).
I have often read this passage and reminisced about something that happened many years ago involving my older boys when they were small children. One morning they decided they wanted to prepare breakfast in bed for their mother and me. We waited there, listening to all the banging, clanging, and minor fussing that was taking place in the kitchen. Finally, the grinning boys came into the bedroom and presented us a breakfast of toast, cereal, juice, etc. We thanked them, ate our breakfast and then hurried into the kitchen to survey the damage.
The kitchen was a total mess – disaster might be the more appropriate word. Still, we couldn’t bring ourselves to rebuke them for making the mess. It was done in the hope of making breakfast for us; something that they thought would make us happy. They made a mess in the midst of a very thoughtful and loving act. How could one justify punishing them for something like that?
Here is the moral of the story: children don’t have life figured out. They do not know all the technical issues of the day-in and day-out routine of living. They just live, and sometimes that means they wear holes in the knees of their new pants, or they spill spaghetti sauce on their new shirt and sometimes make a mess in the kitchen. Children will probably do things wrong from time to time and, at the same time, teach adults a lot about love and trust – virtues that come quite natural to them.
It’s obvious that as we grow older, we seem to lose some of that childlike faith, trust, and tenderness. Everything gets too complicated as we grow older. As adults, we complicate matters further by having to know every little technical detail of day-to-day living, especially when it comes to spiritual matters. Granted, there is a correct way to do things and there are specific details that the Creator has given us and, in time, will expect us to understand. But do you believe the Creator would reject our offering to Him if some of the technical details were off a bit? Would he turn down our efforts, flawed though they may be, if they were born out of a heart full of love and a desire to please Him? Would you have rejected breakfast in bed from your children and rebuked them for the mess in the kitchen? Or would you have taken the breakfast and thanked them? I have a hard time believing that God would have rejected such an offer because, first and foremost, He is a loving Father, not a critical tyrant. His character can be summed up in these words:
What man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! (Matthew 7:9-11)
In case you’re wondering, we did encourage our children to improve their methods the next time they wanted to make breakfast in bed. Likewise, the Creator expects us to learn how to do things the right way as well, without losing the childlike affection for our Heavenly Father.