And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3
There is something glorious about the golden age of childhood. Oh to be wide-eyed, full of wonder, and innocent again! Of course, children can be sneaky and selfish too, but there is something magical about the nature of a child.
Children are little reminders of the beauty we find in curiosity, trust and simple wonder about the world and people around us. But as we grow into adults, we lose our child-like senses. Some of us lose the innocence of our childhood earlier than others. We may even be able to boil it down to a moment we experienced the cruelty of the world. Little by little, day by day, we become cynical. It is surely easier to be cynical than it is to risk being hurt.
As a parent, I teeter between the desire to shield my children from everything and the desire to paint a realistic picture of the world in which we live – a world simultaneously full of beauty and brokenness.
Adam and Eve’s choice to consume the fruit from “the tree of knowledge of good and evil” carries collective consequence for all of us. God granted them the freedom to disobey, to choose their way over His, and their choice paved the way for our great awakening: the painful awakening in which we become conscious of the distinction between good and evil. All of us have this sense: life is not as it should be.
Personally, the more knowledge I have about brokenness and the more I see brokenness in myself and others, the less my heart is inclined to trust that God is actually real and in the midst of it all. “Where in the mess of things are you, God?”, as Ann Voskamp so honestly asks.
But God has not left us alone in the garden of our lives with a head and heart full of knowledge about evil. He wants us to turn toward Him and remember that He is finishing His work. He does have a plan and purpose for us, for our neighbor, for our broken world.
As followers of Christ, we will all doubt this truth at times. Yet, if we spend more time learning about God and the promises He has for us than we do fixating on the evils around us, He will prove faithful to sustain us and regenerate our hope and trust in what He is doing. Even as the world makes no rational sense, we must resolve to lean on Him and not our understanding of it.
God tells us, “I am making everything new” (Revelation 21:5)! Through Christ, He has given us a new covenant (Jeremiah 31:31), a new song (Psalm 40:3), a new name (Isaiah 62:2) and a new heart & spirit (Ezekiel 18:31).
He is taking what we have spoiled and making it new again. He is showing us the way back to living more like the image in which we were created – His image. He is taking our brokenness and making us new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17) and ultimately God will fulfill His promise and usher in a new heaven and a new earth (Isaiah 65:17).
But how are we to live in the meantime? What if we don’t feel new? How do we keep from feeling like a character in the play of human tragedy?
We learn more about the truth of God and who He is. We grasp tightly to that truth by writing it down and hanging it on sticky notes if we have to. We cling to the person of Christ in us. We remind ourselves that while our world is broken God is good. We choose to walk with others who live by this manifesto while humbly serving those who don’t. We choose to trust, we choose to sit at His feet daily, we choose faith.
- Make an honest evaluation of your heart today: do you find yourself trusting God or drifting away from Him? If you are honestly trusting God, spend a minute to simply thank Him for that grace and pray for someone else who may need to trust God more. If your heart is drifting, spend some time reminding yourself about the truth of God’s love for you. Ask Him to show you something new about Himself and give you fresh eyes to see His love.
God, thank you for creating this world. Help me to use my knowledge of evil and brokenness to fight for what is good and just. Help me to trust You more. In Jesus name, Amen.
PC3 writer Gina Fimbel wrote today’s devotional.