Dear Fathers, Friends in Christ,
Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:4)
Have you ever seen a child jump fearlessly into a pool toward the outstretched arms of her father or mother? Blissfully trusting in her parent’s protection, she is filled with confidence! This image of happy freedom can help us grasp the sense of security and peace we can know as children of God.
When Jesus called us to become like little children, he was saying that he wants us to regain some of our childhood innocence. When we were very young, we found it easy to believe in a good God who watches over us and sends angels to protect us. As we grow older, however, such comforting images fade, and we tend to lose our sense of wonder. Life wears us down and tempts us to become cynical about the closeness of God and the reality of our guardian angels. Faced with the inevitable pressures of adulthood, we may begin to believe—or resign ourselves to the belief—that we have no one to help us but ourselves. For better or for worse, we consider ourselves to be the masters of our fate.
Don’t let that happen! Let Jesus awaken in you that joy and innocence you knew as a child—the same joy and innocence you felt when you first experienced his love. Christian maturity is not a matter of increased independence from God; it’s a deeper dependence on him! Even as an adult, you are still incapable of one day’s existence apart from his mercy and grace. From your first breath to your last, it is God who provides for your health, your relationships, your finances, your very life!
So ask the Holy Spirit to do a special work in you today. Ask him to help you view everything that happens today with the eyes of a child who relies on his or her Father’s love. Know that your heavenly Father wants you to come to him with every concern, no matter how small, and trust that his angels are watching over you. Let him reassure you with his love and support.
“Holy Spirit, help me to become more like a child as I look to the Father for my strength and my needs. Teach me how to trust in your provision and heavenly protection.”
Father Ed Bakker
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne