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Religious Reflections

The trust of a child

Pastor Bruce K. Meier

People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have Him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to Him and said, Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it (Luke 18:15-17)

Greetings from Madison, Wis. My wife Bonnie and I are on vacation visiting two of our four grandchildren (oh, yes, and the parents too). The trip began with a visit to my parents in Sun City, Ariz. and then on to Omaha, Neb. for a first time meeting with our newest grandson, Samuel, and then on to Madison for some time with Benjamin. To say that grandchildren are special would be a huge understatement. Yet, there is another thing I have discovered on this trip: children and grandchildren are also excellent teachers.

Give the portion of Scripture written above to a theological scholar and he will spend hours dissecting, interpreting, evaluating, and doing exegetical studying to determine exactly what Jesus meant by what He said. And they can do this for years on end.

Yet, I would like to suggest a different method, one that is more enjoyable: spend an hour or two with a baby. In that time, you will receive a hands-on lesson in trust. As I held Samuel, who is eight weeks old, for the first time, he nestled himself down in the crook of my arm and went to sleep trusting I would protect and care for him. A short time later, as he awoke, I watched as his mother was feeding him, never doubting that what was in the bottle was what he needed. Here was a child fully dependent upon his parents and fully trusting in them to provide for him. Here in Wisconsin, Benjamin, who is 17-months-old, shows the same trust in parents and grandparents to catch him before he falls when he plays and to provide all that he needs. Our children and grandchildren look upon us with a trusting love and in turn look to us for a loving trust, an unconditional love.

So what can a child teach us? A child teaches us that Jesus wants us to put our trust and faith in Him with the attitude of a child. Jesus wants us to nestle ourselves in the crook of His arm when we are tired and He will give us rest. Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28). Let Him feed and sustain you with all that He provides for your physical needs and with His only true Word, the Holy Bible, for your spiritual needs. Trust fully that God will always provide what you need. Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He Who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. (Isaiah 46:4). Trust in Him to catch you when you fail and fall. Just consider all that He has done for you. For a moment consider the immensity of the unconditional love that God has shown you. For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16).

So, if you want to learn trust in its purest sense, spend some time with your children or your grandchildren (oh yes, and their parents too). Then, apply that trust you discover in them to your relationship with your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. God's blessings to each of you!

- Pastor Bruce K. Meier of the Calvary Lutheran Church of Sunnyside

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