Tag Archives: dependent

Like Little Children

When I was a small child I found the world of adults—particularly my parents— gargantuan, scary, and incomprehensible.

The things they conversed about sounded like gibberish.

They could do things that seemed god-like, such as lighting a pilot light, driving a car, or going to sleep in a dark, dark room without needing a night-lite.

Who else but a god could read a newspaper and understand it, let alone enjoy its contents?

Who else but a god knew how to drive from our house to some strange place we’d never been before?

And who but a god knew the order of our days: when to get up, what to wear, and if the events of the day were going to diverge from the ordinary?

So when my god-like parents determined that it was time to take a nap, I did not question them.

When food was placed before me, it did not occur to me to ask for menu options.

If my parent-gods were pleased with me, my world felt secure.

If one of these gods was displeased, I felt shame.

I learned to socialize.wild-basin-june-2011-072

A few years passed.

I went to school, developed relationships with my peers, and learned to do god-like things like read and write.

By ten, my parents were no longer gods. Sure, they were people to be admired, even feared at times.

But they no longer dwelt on Mt. Olympus.

I let them know by my words and body language—even though, obedient— that I no longer accepted their orders and instructions without question.

I ceased to be a little child.

This is as it should be for the growing child. He or she must begin to learn how to live independently.

But in the supernatural world of the seeker of Christ, or the disciple of Christ, to be child-like is exactly what we need to be. Dependent.

To recognize that the world surrounding us is gargantuan, often scary, and almost always incomprehensible.

And to trust that our Father knows what is best for us.

Unlike the little child living under his parents’ roof, I will never grow so mature and knowledgeable that I won’t need Him.

I need to keep reminding myself that…

He is the Alpha and Omega

and I am just a wee small babe in constant need of protection and guidance.

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“At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’

He called a little child and had him stand among them. And He said: ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.'” (Matt. 18: 1-3 NIV Bible)

God’s A Weird Parent

When I was very young, my parents sheltered me and exposed me, little by little, to the outside world. They registered me for school, swimming lessons, music lessons. All for the purpose of enriching me and teaching me about the great big world around me.

Eventually, Dad and Mom nervously handed over the car keys to me and watched me drive away to my first real job.

A parent’s goal is to bring children up to a confident state of independence.

Not so with the Lord. His goal for His children is to bring them to a state of humble dependence.

Weird. As children of God, we, in a sense, regress to the level of a small child:

trusting, completely confident in our Father’s ability to navigate the world and to keep us safe. Confident that we will be fed, clothed, protected, loved.

But we begin the life of a Child of God, struggling each day to submit to Someone else’s leadership. Not confident that our Father can and will supply all our needs through Christ Jesus. Wondering about our future. Sometimes very afraid. Sometimes worshipful. Sometimes angry and perplexed about the way things have turned out. Sometimes downright rebellious. Sometimes tearfully repentant.

Little by little we learn, through experience, through prayer, and from meditating on our Father’s words that He can be relied on, that He is intimately acquainted with us and desires our best.

But the things he allows into our lives are often painful, frightening, frustrating. Why God, Why? I thought a parent was supposed to shelter us from all harm.

And I thought we were supposed to grow up and depend only on ourselves.?? This learning to submit and be dependent seems so counter-intuitive, especially in a society where freedom has reached the level of lawlessness.

But the life of the child of God is marked by dependence on God. That is when His power works through us. Not the other way around.

Jesus said that the work of the disciple is to believe that He, the Redeemer, came in the flesh as the perfect God/man.( John 6:20)

Notice Jesus didn’t say that the work of the disciple  is to somehow muster our own human love, faith, trust, strength and then go out and do what we imagine is God’s work.

No,

A true leader
we must learn childlike dependence

again. The work of the disciple is to depend on the Holy Spirit to lead, and allow Him to work through us.

Weird.

But wonderful.

“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Submit yourselves, then to God.” James 4:6,7 NIV Bible)