Babies bring such joy into a home! In fact, they bring joy with them wherever they go. It’s as if they carry within themselves this beautiful light that just shines forth and creeps into the cracks of hardened souls and touches something deep and familiar within them. There is something about the way babies perceive the world around them with such innocent, accepting wonder; with a continual awe of the figures and forms that pass before them. Untouched by care, unhindered by fear; they dwell shrouded in a blissful trust in the powers of the people upon which they are so absolutely dependent.
When Jesus walked among mankind, He made a specific point to allow the children close to Him and He used them as a perfect illustration to convey a beautiful truth. Jesus said, “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:2-6) Something is contained in the example of a little child that is lost in the grown man which is the key to unlock the gates of heaven.
To be “converted” literally means, “to turn around; turn back again.” (Blue Letter Bible Online) Where do we find ourselves as adults that we must turn around? When and, more importantly, why did we veer off the path? When did our wide-eye accepting wonderment, awe and willing trust change to create monsters under our bed and forge lines upon our brow? We’ve lost our way and packed up a bundle of lies to carry upon our backs and apparently we must ask a child for directions back. How humbling.
As we bump up against this rough world we lose that innocent, accepting wonder and instead by degrees we become hardened, disappointed, skeptical and quite fearful as we’ve touched the hot stoves in life one too many times. But is this state something that has been done to us or something we have done to ourselves? “For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed…” (Matthew 13:5a) To “wax gross” is “to make thick; to make stupid; to render the soul dull or callous.” (Blue Letter Bible Online) Closing our eyes something we have done. Rendering our heart calloused and dull is also something we have done.
We are destined to limitations and difficulties as we stumble about in the darkness of our own wisdom and experience. We feel the burn of deep pain, rejection, loss and embarrassment and we learn to do whatever it takes to protect ourselves. We inevitably learn that the world is not a safe place. How then are we to remain “as little children” in such a place as this?
Let’s go back to the beginning. Life begins and we are filled with it and formed by it. Safe within a womb of protection with every need met. At the proper time, we are thrust out of our warm and watery life pod into cold, hard sterile reality with a woeful cry. We spend the rest of our days trying to recapture the warmth and security we once knew.
In desperation we, too, might cry out with Job under the terrible weight of the intensity of this battle with life: “Wherefore then hast thou brought me forth out of the womb? Oh that I had given up the ghost, and no eye had seen me! ... Are not my days few? Cease then, and let me alone, that I may take comfort a little, before I go whence I shall not return...” (Job 10:18-22)
Willfully turning from the One Answer and Source of Knowledge, we fight to go about it our own way, devising our own goal lines and creating our own North Star all the while stubbing our toes on the bedposts of life! This very definite decision to find our own way and therefore perpetuate this delusion of control is what has led us astray from that path of blissful trust and safety we once knew.
But, God be praised, He has wired us with a very particular instinct. As we cannot avert our eyes from a flame when first noticed, we are drawn to that which is illuminated of itself; fascinated by its self-sustaining power. Human nature is drawn to the light and it is the source of comfort, protection, and, as seen in the flame of the stars above, it is representative of that which extends beyond us, that which is greater than and that which outlasts us.
To bring us out of this present darkness we must be shone the light, guided by something outside of ourselves. And, God knows, it is the smallest light in the darkness that will capture our attention instinctively, every time. It is a willful act to turn away from the light once it is seen.
Jesus proclaimed, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12) The Light of the World is become our Saviour. Humans need the light, long for the light, and are most naturally drawn to and follow the light.
The God that is Self-Sufficient and Self-Sustaining offers His grand assistance to those stumbling about in the darkness of this world. The ultimate safety is found in the One who can never meet with defeat. The ultimate security is found in the One who names you as His own and who changes not and can never lie.
When Jesus tells us, “Ye are the light of the world,” (Matthew 5:14) it is a remarkable thing indeed. We are to be illuminated for the purpose of pointing others to God. As children seem to be illuminated from the inside and draw us unto themselves, we are designed to allow the light of the Holy Spirit within us to shine forth that all “may see (our) good works, and glorify (our) Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
Going about, glowing about, destined to shine; attracting others by the Light within. Once again untouched by care, “Casting all your care upon Him for He careth for you;” (1 Peter 5:7) unhindered by fear, “For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, fear not; I will help thee;” (Isaiah 41:13) and blissfully trusting in Him no matter the circumstances, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28) We have found our way back to Him. The light of the Holy Spirit we carry within will shine forth from us and creep into the cracks of hardened souls and touch something deep and familiar within those people, continuing the eternal circle of light.
We have so much to learn from children. “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…”
As seasons of life change, Elizabeth happily remains desperately dependent upon her God. Two of her four children have now branched off to begin their own families. She is a homeschooling veteran and a faithful wife of almost 30 years.