Wednesday, June 29, 2016


My An Arkie's Faith column from the June 29, 2016, issue of The Mena Star.

Last week our five-year-old granddaughter spent the week with us. We had a great time together. She really likes to ride in Papa’s old Rambler. Whenever we go for a drive, she wants to go to where the tree is in the middle of the road. She is so much fun to be around. Getting a five-year old's view of life is fascinating. They are full of questions but are willing to let you know how they see things.

One of her favorite activities is pretending to cook and run a restaurant using the play kitchen that Grandma bought. It includes a refrigerator, stove, oven, sink, microwave and cabinet space. Grandma has it stocked with pots, pans, utensils and play food. I find it interesting that children want to play by pretending to do the very things that we as adults find to be drudgery. Kids want to be like us and do the things that we do.

Some years ago my friend Richie Owens spent a year of his life writing and recording an album. I remember his enthusiasm as he would bring me new songs to listen to. Songs just seemed to pour out of him as he focused on this project. One of my favorite songs that he wrote was titled "Like A Child.” Richie ended up choosing the song as the title track of the album. Here are some of the lyrics.

“I remember the story from when I was young, where Jesus was teaching one day. And there were some little ones come to see Him. But the men tried to send then away. Little did they know this gentle young man was the one by whom all things were made. He decided to make an example of them. To explain something He had to say.

Let them come unto Me. For such is the kingdom of God. Come ye also like them. For unless you do you'll be lost. We have to trust fully in Him, not ourselves. Rely on his word before anything else. We can grow great in stature, in wisdom and health, undefiled. But be like a child.”

The other day as I was listening to the album, (it is still one of my favorites), I started thinking about what Jesus actually meant in Matthew 18:2,3 (NLT). "Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. Then he said, ‘I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.’” That really is a blunt statement. If I don't become as a little child, I will not be saved. It is crucial that I understand what Jesus meant. My salvation depends on it. As I was considering this question, an important characteristic of little children came to mind.

Small children look up to the adults around them, especially parents. They don’t want to be left alone. They feel secure when they are with their parents. That is the way a Christian should feel about God. We should want to be with God.

In our relationship with God, we adults are in the same position as our children, except that we don’t know it. We sometimes behave as if we are running our lives, and that we are in control. We feel capable, and sometimes to such an extent that we feel we don’t really need God.

We need to know, that we are not in control. Just like a child, we should always be looking up to someone for security and for help. We need to remind ourselves that we cannot handle life with our own wisdom or capabilities. In Proverbs 3:5,6 (NLT) the Bible tells us, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”  This childlike quality is illustrated by a story that my daughter told me several years ago about my granddaughter. While she was attending Vacation Bible School, one of the activities that my granddaughter was involved in was making a scroll like people used in Bible times. When she finished her scroll she told her teacher, “This is for Jesus. I'll give it to him when he comes to pick me up.”

Gentle Reader, that is the kind of childlike faith that we all need to have. We are just waiting for Jesus to come pick us up so we can go home, and we have no doubts that he will be here soon.

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