A few weeks ago, my daughter and two grandsons came for a visit. The boys, ages two and five, accompanied us to the park or on short walks, but one day I took our five-year-old grandson, Jimmy, on a longer walk out in the desert.
We hiked over a fairly steep hill and took a dirt track that leads through a bunch of old glass. I thought he would enjoy seeing the sparkle. When we reached the next hill, a much smaller one than the first, he stopped and got so excited.
“Grandma, this is the tallest mountain in the world. I can see it from my house and have wanted to climb it.” His enthusiasm made me laugh as I looked at the not-so-impressive-to-me hill. Plus, he lives in California and we live in Arizona, so seeing this small hill from his house would have been pretty tough. Maybe he has some sort of superhero glasses.
Still, we walked further with him chattering in excitement about climbing the tallest mountain in the world. He couldn’t wait to get back home and tell his mom where we had hiked.
I keep thinking about that walk and about how Jesus said we should be like little children in our faith. I’ve pondered Jesus words many times over the years, but listening to Jimmy brought new light to the scripture. What are those qualities that I saw in my grandson?
Trust—Jimmy trusted me to lead him where he’d want to go. He never complained about the hills. He didn’t complain about the broken glass lining the roadway. Instead, he chattered about anything and everything and followed where I led.
How many times does God lead us somewhere and all we do is complain or find fault with the journey? Maybe we should focus on trusting more and enjoy being with the Lord as He leads, no matter how difficult that road might be.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is the Lord.” Jer. 17:7 (NKJV)
Enthusiasm—There is nothing like an enthusiastic child. They see the world in a different light. They aren’t jaded by time and circumstances, but see every day as fresh and new.
We would all benefit from starting our day with enthusiasm for what God has in store for us. Maybe circumstances are depressing, but when we give thanks to Him, and when we consider that we are doing everything for Christ, that can change the downward spiral of our thoughts and attitudes.
“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him”. Col. 3:17 (NKJV)
Joy—Jimmy’s excitement for the-tallest-mountain-in-the-world was amazing. He didn’t see that it was a small hill. He didn’t notice the sparse brush and prickly cactus or the glass beside and on the path. He just looked forward with joy to something exciting.
How often are we so beaten down by what is happening to us and around us that we don’t see any way to find joy? During those times, we must remember that our joy is not from what we are experiencing but our joy is in the Lord. We are joyful because He loves us. We are joyful because is He is our protector. We are joyful because He guides our footsteps. We are joyful because we’re His.
“…Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Neh. 8:10 (NKJV)
Willingness to share—For the rest of his stay, Jimmy told people about climbing that mountain. His excitement was contagious and brought smiles and laughter.
Sharing Jesus with others must be done in light of our joy in Him. We must show enthusiasm for who He is and what He does for us. People will get excited about Jesus when they see our excitement and joy. Share with eagerness and zeal. He is worthy.
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8 (NKJV)
The next time you are around a child, note the way they approach life. Learn from their outlook and consider why Jesus recommended we come to Him as a little child. Climb the tallest mountain—even if it’s not so tall—with all the trust, joy, and enthusiasm of a child. Then tell someone about your experience.