Make me like a child—feeling the cool breeze of freedom between my fingers as I spread out my arms and look into the sky and see the wonder of something that I can’t see, yet am mysteriously assured of its Presence.
“I wanna be a kid again.” I hear this often when adults refer to the absence of bills, stress, and responsibilities. Yet, I believe the Lord is beckoning us to become like children again. Not in terms of wisdom, knowledge, or discernment, but in our disposition towards Him.
I recently witnessed the freedom engrossed on the expressions of my students when they were running carefree outside at recess. Their expressions pinpointed a joy that suggested a looseness that I craved. Their movements lacked a sense of awareness and need for perfection that I coveted. They simply ran. Coats hanging half off. Arms swinging awkwardly. Yet in the midst of such, the confidence in the “fun” of simply being able to run, never etched an expression of doubt/worry across their faces.
Why is it that I’ve grown so far away from this mentality as a follower of Christ? Sometimes, I think that others are going to find out who I really am behind my exterior shell of appearing as an adult. I’ve learned the social cues, the proper responses, the ability to maintain control in both movement and word. I’ve learned the right moments to laugh, the right moments to smile, and even the right ways to appear mature. Yet, when I come to the throne of grace, I sense the Holy Spirit beckoning me to strip off the clothing and to allow His presence to burn away that which I most want others to see. When He does so, I feel naked and exposed. I obtain the salve that opens my eyes to the wickedness that lays in my heart, and I become ashamed. He reveals my hidden thoughts and my hidden motives. The “adult” in me wants to quickly put my clothes back on. I want to leave His presence and come back with thicker clothing—harder to remove. I find justifications. I deflect. I push away, afraid of the light that burns away the carnal. I frantically look for the strands of thread that I think are somewhat clean.
But then He steps in and reminds me of what it felt like to be a child. He gives me a glimpse of the joy and freedom obtained when relinquishing my wants and desires, in exchange for His accessibility to strip me of “self” in order to obtain His clothes of righteousness. He says “Come to me, Jessica, like a child.” And to be honest, I get scared, because in every part of my life, I’ve tried to hide being like a child. I’ve mistaken maturity for a lack of excitement, for a lack of making mistakes, for a lack of being vulnerable to exposing that I’m fallen and in desperate need of a Savior. For the sake of being mature, I mask pain. I find remedies. Why? Because, I’ve learned that there are little avenues in life in which one can appear weak, incompetent, unstable...and broken—in need of assistance.
And yet, when you see children, that’s exactly what you see. They are dependent. And what’s most interesting is that their eyes are still able to be free in that. Despite their obvious inadequacies, to others and to even themselves, they are still able to run freely in the fields of the unknown, completely comfortable. Why? I think it’s because they know that they still have time to grow. I think as long as they know that there is One who knows the way, they rest in simply enjoying the ride.
Make me like a child again, Abbah. I see you attempting to burn away the fake clothes that I wish to put on in order to cover the scars, my weaknesses, and even my own wickedness. But in an act of desperation, I stand before you naked—hoping that Your clothes of righteousness, each and everyday, will become easier to be exchanged for my makeshift rags. Make me like a child again, where I can run through the fields with You, unashamed, and in full trust that the work that You have started...You will finish.
I challenge you to pray to Him as a child, in complete need of the Father—knowing that He sees your nakedness, your sin, your impure thoughts, your impure motives, and still wishes to wash you clean and to bestow upon you His own clothes of righteousness. This is true self-esteem—knowing that you are not worthy and yet the One True Living God counts you worthy.
The danger Satan wishes to plant is 1) to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think by ignoring your own impurities, masking them, and never acknowledging that You are in need of a Savior or 2) to have you focus on your own flaws to the extent of completly ignoring the perfect image of Christ and what He already did for you on the cross.
Come to HIm as a child. He wants to wrap you in His glory. Simply let Him and don’t be ashamed of your great need to do so.
Inspired from the following passage:
Revelation 3: 17-18
"‘Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see."