Spending a week with 32 Junior-high kids has reminded me of the timeless truth, that “unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3), for “of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 19:14).
Children’s hearts are tender, honest, and open – they crave the love of God and of others. They are little lambs, longing to be held by Jesus and to be told that they are precious in His sight.
Many of us have grown too old for this intimate and playful time with Jesus. We are just fine where we are, thank you, with our sophisticated beverage cup in one hand and our mobile device in the other. Climb onto His lap? I’ll spill my drink. Take a walk with Him holding my hand? But I’m texting with someone…
I understand better now why Jesus asked Peter after his denial, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” Jesus knew that Peter’s love for Him must grow … so He said, “Feed the lambs” (John 21:15). In meeting the spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of the young ones in the faith, Peter would learn from them how to throw his arms around Jesus, how to run into His embrace — how to love with abandon and desperation.
Today, if your love for Jesus has grown lukewarm, if you need reassurance of forgiveness, spend time loving and caring for some children. Volunteer to help your church’s children’s Sabbath School class. Play with some children after potluck. May their incredible hearts teach you, too, to run climbing into Jesus’ lap.
Jesus, please forgive me for becoming so self-sufficient. May I sit upon Your lap? Will you whisper into my ears words I need to remember for today? I love You, Jesus! Amen.