“At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:1-3 ESV).
What is it about children that provides a model for us to emulate to make salvation attainable? What is the common denominator, found in all children regardless of their social, economic, or family status, that is so profound that it provides us with a roadmap to a successful Christian life?
The answer to that question doesn’t require the space of a book to explain it. It doesn’t even need the space of a blog, paragraph, sentence, or phrase. It can be identified with one word. Trust.
Trust is very similar to faith. It could be argued that the two are one and the same, and for most practical purposes I would agree, but when I look at the two I see a subtle difference. James tells us that, “faith apart from works is dead” (James 2:26 ESV). I believe that trust is where the rubber of faith meets the road of life.
Faith believes without seeing. Trust is the outward expression of such faith. We’ve all likely taken part in a trust-fall exercise, where we have fallen backwards trusting that our friends or teammates will catch us. Our trust presupposes our faith. We believe they will catch us, so we trust them to do so.
Children possess a certain naïveté early in life, before they have become jaded by betrayal of trust. They are so eager to learn that thy take every word told them by someone older at face value, having complete trust that what they’ve been told is the truth. That trust immediately becomes actionable. But at some point, through too many deceptions, good-hearted fun or otherwise, they lose that trust.
It is this trust that makes our faith childlike. When we take God at His Word, at face value, our faith reaches the point of actionable trust. Unfortunately, we have been deceived, and we have been hurt. We have put our trust in the hands of other people and have been burned, time and again; this has left us with hearts guarded, unable to simply trust in God and His Word and fall backwards into His waiting arms.
I want to encourage you to spend some time this weekend thoughtfully and prayerfully examining your own heart, your own trust of God. In what areas of your faith life do you find it difficult to trust God fully? What steps can you take to remedy this situation?
**image from http://www.ellenwhite.info/life-of-christ-13.htm (I do not necessarily agree or disagree with the views expressed on this site.