Childlike Wonder

One day some parents brought their little children to Jesus so He could touch and bless them. But when the disciples saw this, they scolded the parents for bothering Him.
Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, ‘Let the children come to Me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.’

Luke 18:15-17 NLT
~~~~~~~~~~

It took my son’s Children’s Bible for me to understand this. Brennan Manning might have had something to do with it, too. Either way, both books found me on the same day.

My husband was reading the devotional surrounding this passage to our 4-year-old. And I must admit my attention was elsewhere. Until I heard him say:

“Because Jesus knows children love Him.
And the children shout, ‘Thank You Jesus for loving us — we do love You!'”
(taken from My Goodnight Bible )

And suddenly I realized — all these years, I had this Bible passage all wrong. For I had always assumed what He adored about little children was their innocence. Their raw, impressionable hearts. That may be, but I’m beginning to see that’s not at all what Jesus was saying to the disciples.

I had read The Ragamuffin Gospel that morning. And had been mulling over a portion all day:

Jesus’ point is, there is nothing that any of us can do
to inherit the kingdom…
We must simply receive it like little children…
If they are close to God, it is because they are incompetent,
not because they are innocent. (pg 26)

After our son was tucked in for the night, I sat down and began to list attributes of children I have personally discovered to be true:

  • You know when a child loves you. It’s written all over their face.
  • A child clings unabashedly to what they love when they feel insecure. Incompetent.
  • They have no trouble relying on their parents for learning most of life’s lessons.
  • Truth comes easy. Natural. They speak their heart unabashedly.
  • They forgive without consideration.
  • They’re curious. Eager.

A handful more fill up my page. And when I stop to read them, I realize innocence is nowhere to be found. I never listed it. The one thing I had taken that verse to mean wasn’t there when reflecting on little children.

It was the last one I wrote down that put me near tears:

  • They are full of wonder. They see pure beauty. They expect to see it.

Oh friends, somewhere on life’s journey we become preoccupied with ourselves. We lose the luster found in the world around us. It seems the more we know, the more science we discover, the duller beauty becomes. As we grow bigger, everything else grows smaller. Insignificant. Wonder becomes forgotten.

If that’s what it takes to become a grown up, I don’t want to be one. I want to retreat back to a child’s mindset. Where we wake up each morning excited to discover new beauty that surrounds us. Where we take the time to stop, gaze, and delight in God’s wonder. Where not a day goes by where we are not caught squealing. It doesn’t matter from what. It all comes from God.

This week, I tried it. I stopped scrubbing floors to study the ant by the patio door, trying to return home. I watched  the flight patterns of the butterflies in our rain garden.

Would you mind if I list some other wonders I discovered?

  • The sparrow outside my bedroom window sings the same song of praise under rainy or cloudless skies.
  • The mother duck knows her duckling’s limitations and doesn’t even mess around with stretching them too soon.
  • Frogs in our pond sing in a 3/4 rhythm. Almost in a round formation. I finally listened long enough to hear the entire sonata. I was captivated.
  • There are no surprises with the rainbow’s color sequence. They’re always in the same order, but the vividness of each varies and each one deserves to steal our breath away.

I could go on and on. And I will. For when I wipe the cataracts of adulthood away from my eyes, I see God’s love surrounding me each and every day. I witness grace and mercy on new and different levels each morning.

And I can’t thank Jesus enough for showing us the way.

Father, thank You for knowing and loving the child within me…

How about you, friend? Will you join me on the journey of becoming like a child? Will you try something new this week — something that goes against your adult nature? What else can we do to achieve this mindset? I’d love to hear. 

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

NOTE: This is a part of my Back-to-the-Basics Redemption Series. You can catch other posts written by clicking HERE.

Linking with:

As well as:
Thankful Thursday @ Red Oak Lane
Life in Bloom
Thought-Provoking Thursday 

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29 thoughts on “Childlike Wonder

    • Thank you, Dawn. When that birdie woke me up this morning, I couldn’t help but smile wide and sing along! Striving to follow their lead. To praise despite my circumstances…. Hugs to you, friend!

  1. One early morning last week there was a hummingbird outside my livingroom window. It gave me such a smile!

    I think as adults it is so easy to get caught up in our “to do lists” also expectations of ourselves and/or others so I have been trying to “relax” a bit in this area because I think in having such a tight hold on these things we miss the little things and if we miss the little things we miss the thankfulness to our God who has given us those moments. I don’t want to miss them.

    Lord, I pray you would open our eyes to see the small moments that so often in our hurried lives get over-looked. That we would cherish them with child-like faith. That we would lift up our praise and thanksgiving whereever we may be because Your hand is upon us, always working. Help us to really see. In Jesus name, Amen.

    • You are so right, Janet. We just get wrapped up in “stuff” don’t we. Seems our priorities get out of order at one point or another. I’m with you. Striving to relax and not hold on so tight. Because then, nothing stops me from seeing His Majesty!

      Thank you so much for the prayer. I prayed right along with you. It was perfect. Thank you!

    • Wow, Peg. That means a lot to me, since I had such a hard time writing it. Thank you! Would you believe it was well over 1200 words?!? took awhile to figure out what I could save for another post…and I was worried I didn’t get my message across because of it. Thank you so much for your encouragement!

  2. This is so true…the longer I walk with God, the more incompetent I realize I am and how much I need Him and His grace to follow Him…just spent the morning with kids in VBS…loved their enthusiasm…the only sad thing was one little girl wasn’t that excited, she was already jaded in some way…prayed for her…loved that you could tell the rhythm of the frog’s sonata 🙂 I’m asking God today how to be amazed…right now, I can’t believe how much bigger the caterpillars are that we got…we’re waiting for them to become butterflies… blessings and hugs to you, Nikki 🙂

    • It kinda goes along with the more we know, the more we realize we don’t know, doesn’t it….
      Oh the joys of VBS! Are you doing it all week? I’m never more exhausted than after that week… ; )
      Your daughter is going to LOVE watching that transformation! Our caterpillars emerged just last week from our rain garden. That never gets old!
      So thankful for you, friend and am grateful for you taking the time to read my ramblings and share with me. Thank you!

  3. Nikki, you’re becoming prolific at writing thought provoking, love-filled posts! This is another stunning one, and I have learned something along with you, thanks to your son’s My Goodnight Bible. I too have always thought it was innocence of children we were to assume in order to be like children. I think perhaps I need to purchase My Goodnight Bible so I have a clearer understanding of what I’m reading because I too want to stay a child after reading your post. Enjoyed your list of things that brought awe to your life this week. Mine? Here in the NW everything is coming to life much more slowly than the rest of the country, so here goes:

    1. The sun’s beams filtering through our trees as the sun actually rises for a change.
    2. The unfolding hydrangea petals, ever so slowly opening themselves to the promise of summer.
    3. Our cat’s joy when we allow her outside (we don’t usually — busy, busy road!) but she’s learning to live with a harness and leash and watching her abandon at romping through low growing bushes and digging for bugs is so much fun!
    4. Taking the time to breathe — I run at too hectic a pace most days and I’m trying to reprogram myself! I’m loving it!

    And I’m loving following you! Take more notice around you, dear one.

    BTW — found you at Write It, Girl as I was linking up! 🙂

    • Oh, Sherrey, I am enjoying the image in my head of your cat on a leash! Oh how your moments of wonder have made my day today, friend. Thank you so much for taking the time to share them with me!
      You are such an encouragement to me. What a treasure you are! So grateful He has drawn us together in this blogging world…
      So proud of you for linking up, too! I’ll be stopping by…

  4. This is SO beautiful! Thank you for this incredible reminder of what is truly important. I don’t want to be a “grown up” either, if that means missing all of the gifts that the Lord gives us everyday and losing the sense of wonder about the world and everything in it. I am really trying! 🙂

    • Thank you, Lisa! Let’s try to preserve our children’s child-like hearts, shall we? And join them in seeing the world of wonder He has given us! Hugs to you, friend. May you have a delightful weekend! Still praying for you…

  5. Yes you have really checked into this Scripture. I think you have nailed something that many of us have not uncovered. This unbridled joy of a child – the acceptance of love and the enthusiasm for the minute of the day.
    Blessings,
    Jan

    • Thank you so much, Jan. Thrilled you stopped by today and shared with me. I am trying to listen to what He is trying to show me. And this is a big part of it. To God be the glory.
      Stop by again sometime — would love to see you.

      All for Him,
      Nikki

  6. Pingback: Incompetence at its Finest « simplystriving

  7. that “child-like wonder” is one of the most amazing parts of parenthood – the opportunity to see through child-like eyes again 😉

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