I used to think that God wanted me to grow up. Be responsible. Be adult. If I could impress him with my maturity, he would love me more: I would be acceptable. And yet I would yearn to just sit in His arms, like a little girl, oblivious to the demands of adult life that I found myself confronted with daily; able to just gaze into his beautiful face and be full of awe and wonder at a Creator who could love me so much.
This daily pursuit of how I would go to Father God, would send me in a tail spin more often than not: some days, I would feel delighted that I had spent time with my Father who loves me, and others, I would feel annoyed that I was not more mature whilst encountering him!
Then one day, a woman spoke to me. She said ‘God only has nice things to say to you’.
Well, if ever there was a time I needed to hear that, it was right then. I was convinced that I had missed the boat; missing my opportunity to serve Him and know him more deeply. I was not sure I even believed this woman! Despite the deep desire in my soul to believe her, I was riddled with the loud, accusing question: how could God want to speak to me when I had let him down so much? Even so, I wrote down the sentence: ‘What nice things do you want to say to me God?’
It was in that moment, I realised my pursuit to be perfect for Him was unnecessary; that in fact, the God of the universe wanted only one thing from me: my love. My pursuit was back to front! Jesus said to come to the Father like little children. I secretly desired to be just like Mary, who sat so readily at the feet of our Lord, mesmerised by His voice, hanging off every word he spoke, soaking in every syllable of His truth. And yet, I would live the opposite on the outside, trying to prove my worth to him through how I lived my life and what I did in His name.
The very moment my pen stopped moving across the page, He spoke. It wasn’t audible, but it was clearly words that I would never dare speak about myself. He stopped me in my tracks. In a moment, I was transported into the Truth of his love: the simplicity of His goodness toward me. My adult mind was relegated to the outer court while my spirit began a re-engagement with my Lord and King.
The more I pursue His presence, the more childlike I must become. It is a paradox: to be adult in this world, dealing with everyday life issues with maturity and wisdom and simultaneously being childlike, where the world is full of colour and wonder, entrusting all the decisions and work to the Father, allowing him to be God of our lives.
In this place of childlike wonder, we must leave the worries of this world behind. Jesus instructs us to be anxious for nothing. Have you ever watched a 5 year old? They don’t understand the meaning of anxiety; they assume that Dad can do absolutely anything in the world! There is something so endearing about their simple and yet profound view of life.
But how do we get to that place? How do we live in Luke 18:17? How do we let go of the notions of adulthood that our society imprints on us from such a young age, and come to the Father like little children? Well, for me there is a place I like to go. It’s not somewhere that can be found on a map. It’s not somewhere you can drive to, or take a photograph of.
It’s a place where the demands of life can be left behind as I wander through gardens of unspeakable beauty, through rain forests of incomparable wonder and mountain ranges too vast to express. You see this place is in my spirit. Jesus also prayed for us, that we would be in Him, as he is in the Father and as he and the Father are one, we also would be one with them.
And so, for me, the secret is simple: choose to live from the spirit within me, that is in Jesus, that is guided by his Holy Spirit, continually encouraging me, like a child, to explore the world through the eyes of God. It is in this place that I find my true identity and understand the depths of love that our Father has for me. It is here that true childlikeness can be fostered and become the transforming nature of my character.
By Miriam Miles