Faith? What is it?
In the beginning stages of becoming a follower of Christ, I came to know that faith is simply believing in Jesus, believing in the Father and Holy Spirit. Faith for me is that God is so real that when I talk to Him I believe He replies. This is what faith looked like for me.
Jesus said in Luke chapter 18, verse 17, "Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it."
When I encountered this verse for the first time, I wondered what is in a child that God wants us to imitate? My understanding of this verse was only on the level of my knowledge of a child—they play, eat and sleep. That's just about it.
Then years later, God called me into full-time children's ministry and my knowledge and understanding of a child broadened and deepened.
Our church is located in a rural area where most of the residents come from the lower class (though I don't really see them as very poor or unfortunate). They just have enough for the day. And there's this little girl who will come to church to eat with us because sometimes they have no food at home.
It reminds me of what Jesus said in Matthew chapter 6, verse 26: that if our heavenly Father is feeding the birds that neither sow, reap nor gather into barns, then much more will it be so for all His children who are far more valuable.
Like this little girl. She's not worried about things like food, but God uses people to feed her. It's strange that most of us adults worry about things like having no food to eat later or tomorrow.
Also, observing children who are about five to six years old, I learned they can play with their friends and later on fight. And when my husband and I come to restore them, minutes later they are back again playing as if no fight happened.
It amazes me how children can be like this while us adults find it hard to forget an offense done to us. It can even take us years to forget.
And I will never forget how God used the faith of a little girl to increase my faith. I went through a season of physical illnesses and didn't know what was happening with my health; I got so worried.
Then God made me remember this little girl who came to me to pray for her foot that had wounds. I could tell it was serious because it looked like there was a presence of pus and infection.
After praying for her, I told her to tell her mum to have it checked by a doctor but she said they didn't have money. So we just prayed and trusted God for it anyway. Eventually, her wounds were healed completely. God took care of her.
God used that moment to open my eyes to what the faith of a child looks like.
Somehow, being called into children's ministry I have learned these two major things—why God is pleased with a childlike faith:
Firstly, children do not worry about anything at all. They have an inborn trust that, somehow, they will be taken care of. And this is what God wants for all of His children regardless of age: to have this kind of trust in Him because He is a good Father.
Secondly, children do not hold offenses. That is why they are free as the birds in the sky. When we allow ourselves to keep offenses in our hearts, whether minor or major issues, we put our own selves into the prison of that offense. God wants us to have an attitude of forgiveness, like a child, in the Kingdom of God because it is for our own sake.
Therefore, to enter into the kind of life God wants for us, a worry-free, stress-free, and simply-at-rest kind of life (which is reflective of the Kingdom of God, a heaven on earth), we must become like these children who neither worry about anything nor take offense and trust him.
"Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew chapter 18, verse 3)
Lovely Lao is a Sunday school teacher and is involved in children’s ministry at a local church. She is a passionate lover of God and people, especially children. Jesus is her ultimate joy and excitement in life and she is hungry to know and learn more about him. She is also married to a youth pastor who is a man after God’s heart.
Lovely Lao’s previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/lovely-salcedo.html