Mark 10:14-16 (KJV) “But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.”
I was on the sidelines watching a dad play with her little girl in the water the other day while vacationing in Florida, and I watched as he played with her; they both had so much fun.
But it dawned on me as the dad was swinging his daughter above his head and above the water that the father was in total control of this girl’s happiness, joy, her well-being, and perhaps even her life. As he tossed her up in the air and spun her about, sometimes he let her feet go into the water, sometimes her hands and arms went into the water, and even once or twice, her dad swooped her down just low enough that her head even went into the water just a bit.
He might have tossed her and missed catching her and she would have gone under the water. He might have tossed her and caught her awkwardly and bruised her or worse. If we think of all the possibilities of what might have happened to this little girl, we might get a bit nervous about how they were having fun. But the girl? Not one moment of thought passed through her mind that erupted in any sort of fear. Now she was certainly old enough to know about scrapes and pain and things that could hurt her body, but that wouldn’t happen; not now anyway. Why? Because it was her dad holding her. It was her dad tossing her. And as long as he was close to her, as long as he was the one playing with her, tossing and spinning her, as long as she could see and feel that she was safe in his arms, nothing else mattered.
And I thought: that’s exactly how the Lord demands that we enter into His kingdom. We are to trust in Him no matter what’s going on around us or to us. We are to keep our eyes fixed on Him:
(Hebrews 12:2 (KJV) “Looking unto Jesus [emphasis mine] the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God).
After all, His eyes are fixed on us, right?
Psalms 32:8 (KJV) “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go:
I will guide thee with mine eye.” [emphasis mine]
And then how are we to be? We are to know and understand that we are safe in His everlasting arms:
Deuteronomy 33:27 (KJV) “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.”
So then, how should we feel? Safe and secure, just like that little girl did in her daddy’s arms.
And what if something should happen that looks like it will be bad? Again, we remember where we are, who is holding us, and how strong and loving He is.
That dad in the pool would never do anything to hurt his daughter in any way. And that little girl, even though she has had less time on earth to learn that about her dad than many of us have had as born-again children to learn about our heavenly Father, nevertheless, she trusted him completely – without any fear whatsoever – with her welfare in all ways. Because there was something inside of her that she had gained through experience with her dad, that she knew completely there was no where else on this planet that she could feel so loved and so cared for as when she was with her dad.
Now, when was the last time you and I felt like that? Have we ever felt like that? Perhaps in our first days of being part of His family we felt that way, but time and experience has led us to believe otherwise.
But think of it: the more the little girl (maybe 6 or 7 years old I think) learned about her father, the more she has come to trust him. And then think of this: if something bad were to happen to that little girl; even if it happened because her dad made a crucial mistake and an accident did occur, do you think she would love her dad less? Do you think she would think that he loved her any less? Of course not; as a matter of fact, she would want to be back in his arms just as quickly as she could. Because while there might be some pain and hurting, she would want him to hold her so that she knew in spite of her pain, her daddy still loved her (and would always love her) and would do anything he could to make her well again.
The great news for us is that unlike an earthly dad, our heavenly Father cannot make any mistakes. We don’t have to worry about something happening to us that He didn’t know about in advance. He will never be caught off guard and He will never be caught by surprise. And He simply cannot do anything or allow anything to happen to us except that it is done out of His incredible, perfect, agapé, love for us. And what comfort that should bring to each of us. He loves us and is holding us with His powerful hands. Nothing shall shake us apart from His grip upon our lives. And nothing is able to pull His arms apart to let us fall.
Yes, He is ours and we are His; and in that we must take comfort at all times, good and bad, and give Him all the praise and glory He deserves for being our perfect Father. For no one else can provide for us the love, compassion, tenderness, and care that only He can give.
It is time (probably past time) that we stop fearing so greatly when life comes at us and we see a dark sky and a hazy, uncertain horizon, and lift up our eyes and talk to Him, telling Him about our fears and letting Him remind us where we are (in His arms), and that we are safe and secure right there.
To God alone be the glory!