I remember singing about wanting to have faith like a child – way back when I was almost a child. Remember the Jars of Clay song from way back when? (1995) To my fun-loving, happy-go-lucky teenage-self, I figured it was all about being positive. A kid has no worries, and always smiles, right? So that’s what it means to have child-like faith. It means to have a simple faith.
But actually having children, continually reveals to me new aspects of what exactly it means to strive for having the faith of a child. Most recently it has hit us through our 3 year old, Ruby Anne. She’s the epitome of an unbelievably cute child. Always asking for cuddles, making jokes about toots, and crawling into our bed at 2am just about every night of the week. When we wake up next to her in the morning, we ask – admittedly frustrated at times – “Hey Ruby, why did you come down to mommy & daddy’s bed last night?”
Her response? To stretch out long, push down her head and arms into the nearest pillow or blanket and say with a giant sigh of relief, “Because your bed is sooooo comfy cozy.”
It’s true. Compared to a toddler bed with a small toddler-sized blanket, and small toddler-sized springs – our bed IS so comfy-cozy.
If you think that’s endearing, you should hear the girl pray. I’m not sure where it came from, and I’m not looking to fix her grammar in her prayer life anytime soon. She says her prayers in a way we’ve never really taught, but she must have simply combined what she was thinking with bits of what she’s heard. To the point where her prayers now can often sound like this:
Me: Ruby, do you have anything you’d like to pray about?”
Ruby: Yeah, I want to pray for Phoebe (the daughter we hope to bring home from Africa this year) to be safe, to get money for Phoebe to come home, and mommy’s back feel better, and etc…..(she usually trails off at this point, sometimes into a fart joke)
Me: Okay, go ahead.
Ruby: Dear God, thanks for making Phoebe safe, thanks for money to bring her home, thanks for mommy’s back feeling better, etc……
It’s such a simple thing, and she may have no idea how slightly different her prayers are than mine – but they’re so far from what I pray with my, “Could you….?” or “Jesus, please….” The statements of faith she makes every night about what God is and will accomplish continue to keep me in check. It emboldens my own prayers. It calls me out of my ambiguous, “God, whatever you wanna do please do it in this situation” type prayers, and reminds me God loves us so much, He wants us to share with Him the desires of our hearts. That scripture tells us in several places – Jesus is with us, and will provide according to our needs. We can pray specifically; much more specifically than many of us do.
So this week, I’m working on thanking God. I thank God that we have Phoebe’s picture. (before my wife’s birthday would be cool) Thanking Him that somehow we were able to raise all of the money we need to bring our daughter home. (note – if you wanna be a part of that happening, check out our Facebook Auction!) Thanking Him for bringing a new, and lasting peace and stability to the Democratic Republic of the Congo – especially in the East. Thanking Him that children are no longer dying or becoming orphans because of the transformation His Word is bringing about all over the world.
What specific things might God want you to depend on Him for this week, instead of our “low expectation” prayers we usually send up???