Last blog, I told you I was offended by the results of a personality test. Today, I’m telling you I’m shocked. My son and daughter-in-law turned up at our home yesterday announcing they were expecting baby number 2. That will be my 4th grandchild. Jessica, Oliver, William, and now, who knows. Will it be a boy or girl? Will it take after mum or dad? How much will this one cost me? Will I have to remortgage my home? What if they all choose to stay over at the same time?
The truth is, I’m delighted. The Bible tells us that “Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him.” (1) They’re given, by him, as a blessing, and should be loved and cherished by parents. Sadly, that’s not always the case. I’ve just read of yet another little girl who suffered from neglect and lost her life. I’ve no doubt that Jesus grieves every time this happens. Isn’t it sad that I can use the words ‘every time’, because this happens over and over and over again. There’s always a righteous indignation afterwards, but it never stops. He also grieves when a woman finds herself unable to have children, or loses a child. It’s such a painful experience, and it was never part of God’s plan for his creation. As I keep saying, this world’s suffering is the result of sin, not individual sin, but the impact of sin on God’s creation.
In Matthew’s gospel we’re told that Jesus’ followers were shooing away children who had been brought to him for blessing. Jesus said to his followers, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (2) More than any verse in the Bible this shows us how special are children to God. He loves them, their innocence, simple faith and complete trust in him. He once said about adults that, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (3) He wants from adults the same simple faith and complete trust in him. We need to put aside our adult cynicism, recognise that God knows more than we do, see the mess we’ve made of his world and our own lives, and come to him in simple, childlike faith.
In God’s plan, children were to live under the security of their parents, who would love them and take care of their every need. This would allow children to grow up in innocence, enjoying life and learning about all that’s good. They’d learn about love, security, friendship, happiness, pleasure, warmth, and encouragement. Life was meant to be joyful and fulfilling, and God was to be at the forefront of their lives. It was perfect living that God wanted for children, and also for adults. Through Jesus it’s possible to recapture some of that innocence even now. In a relationship with Jesus and his followers life can be immensely satisfying.
As a Christian I believe a time is coming when my life will be lived in perfection. I will be loved perfectly and I will live perfectly. I will have no fear of evil and sin will not harm me. Every friendship I make will be lovely and each day will be filled with happiness. There won’t be any place for sadness, tears, or death. Life will go on eternally blissful as I enjoy it with Jesus. He said something wonderful to his disciples.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (4)
One day I am going to be with Jesus. I know it’s going to happen because Jesus said so. I believe his word. What about you? Do you want a life with Jesus? You can have one. It’s your choice.
- Psalm 127:3
- Matthew 19:14
- Matthew 18:3
- John 14:1-3