Becoming Like a Child

As a Dad there are many times that I see our children provide direct insight into the heart of humanity in a refreshing way. An example that most of us have seen is a child that does not want to be left alone. They may be sitting in their room playing with a toy and then all of a sudden start crying and yelling, “Dad! Dad! Where did you go?” Our daughter was in a store with my wife and in plain sight of her mom, but mom was not in her plain sight. Suddenly she cried with desperation, “Moooom?! Moooooom!!” My wife answered, “Right here honey.” To which she grabbed her Mom by the leg, pressed her face against her and said, “I thought you had left me here. I thought I was alone.” My wife answered, “No, sweetie, Mommy would never do that. I was right here the whole time.”

Our Self-Sufficiency Has a Leak

As adults we tend to operate with something of a veneer of self-sufficiency that children, particularly younger children have no reference for. They feel alone and they cry out. However, we feel it too, and likewise, our heart cries out for consolation. Consider worrying. If we are worrying about what is going to happen tomorrow (say health, work, relationships, etc.) then we are basically coming to grips with the fact that we want something to go a certain way but are also aware of the fact that we don’t have the ability to make it happen. We feel small and powerless. We become afraid of people and their power. We fear sickness and its power. We fear government and its power. But we don’t cry out. We just sit and stew, maybe complain, sometimes vent, but it is all too rare for us to cry out. The veneer of self-sufficiency keeps us respectable.

At the same time, we know that the tire of our pride has a leak. This is why we love music about brokenness, enjoy watching shows that reveal other people’s weakness and triumph, and deep down we envy others who are able to admit that they don’t have it all together.

God Speaks Knows Our Weakness and Speaks to It

This is one of the reasons why I love the Bible. The Bible knows us. Isn’t that something? As the old Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon said, “I read books, but this book reads me.” And it does (Heb. 4:16). The Bible operates on the presupposition that we are all weak people. All of us, throughout history, have sinned and therefore experienced alienation from God. As a result, we feel alone, vulnerable and somewhat concerned about what is coming down the pike. Therefore, God strikes a nerve when he promises his abiding presence and power with his people.

Consider the church who received the letter of Hebrews. These guys were ostracized socially, religiously and economically. They lost friends, money, homes, jobs and respect (Heb. 10:32-36). From the perspective of the cultural elites around them, they were on the wrong side of history. They needed to either get with the program or get lost.

Look at what God, knowing their situation and struggle, says to them through his word:

“… for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”” (Hebrews 13:5)