“Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” – God
Becoming and being childlike sounds nice, but kids have no control over their lives. Kids are always being told what to do by bigger people, “Go outside and play,” “Come inside, it’s time for dinner,” “Clean your room,” “Brush your teeth,” “Fold the laundry and put it away,” “Sweep the floor,” “Turn off the T.V.,” “Go to bed,” “Get up, it’s time for school,” etc. I don’t really want to be a child. I want to feel “big” and “in charge” of my life. Sure, adulthood comes with unpleasant responsibilities and stress, but the fact is I kind of like worrying; I choose anxiety because it makes me feel some fleeting sense of control. I am addicted to control. I crave “control” daily; and I am daily disappointed. So, in frustration, I cry out to God saying, “If You won’t cater to my craving for feeling big, and if You refuse to grant me sovereignty over my circumstances; then at least show up and give me a supernatural sign of Your presence and power!” But even if God were to deliver me from my affliction, and perform signs and wonders, and show me His presence and power in pillars of fire and smoke to guide me every step of the way in life, and audibly speak to me, and shower down miraculous bread from heaven, and spray water out of rocks – I would still stiffen my neck and appoint leaders to teach me lies for feeling large; I would still opt for enslavement to self-reliance and the delusion of self-sufficiency.
Bottom line… I hate feeling small. I hate feeling vulnerable. And this disdain I feel for my smallness is the bedrock of my depravity. Sin is the desire to be something bigger than small. My adulterous addiction to the enslaving illusions of strength and control is my main problem.
Over the course of the past month my 5 year old son has undergone multiple heart surgeries and has been recovering in the CICU for a couple of weeks now, and a pandemic flu has turned the world on its head. Amidst all the uncertainty and abnormality of life at the moment, God’s Word incessantly reminds me of my main problem …it’s not the powerlessness I feel as a parent, and it’s not the smallness I feel as a member of a planet dealing with pestilence; my main problem is my craving and compulsive attempts to transcend my smallness. My main problem is my adulterous inclination to forsake God in favor of the lie of self-sufficiency.
Ironically, it is precisely this quest to become self-reliant that fuels all my fear and shame. I am afraid because I know that self-sufficiency is at-best a house of cards that is doomed to collapse; and I’m ashamed because I know I’ve promoted and paraded the lie which is behind all pain, abuse, and self-serving corruption.
But God’s Word is not ultimately aimed at pointing out my problem. At the end of the day, God is most adamant, and most insistent, that I receive His forgiveness, grace, and mercy like a trusting child. God is a Father who refuses to forsake me! His love is steadfast! Even when God’s kids made for themselves a golden calf and glorified it as their savior; God in His great mercies did not forsake them. The pillar of cloud to lead them in the way did not depart from them by day, nor the pillar of fire by night to light for them the way by which they should go. God gave His good Spirit to instruct them and did not withhold His manna from their mouths and gave them water for their thirst. Forty years He sustained them in the wilderness, and they lacked nothing; even though they chronically complained and gave themselves over to grumbling.
Amidst the clear, present, and persistent powerlessness we feel, God is brewing childlike receptivity to the mercy of the King who has the authority to forgive sins. Much like the story of the paralyzed man in Mark 2, this moment in time has been appointed by the Maker for us to relish our forgiveness in Christ alone. Our LORD clearly says that those who have been forgiven much love much, and the primary reason you’re still alive in March 2020 is in order that you might love God and love others much! As we near the end of March and head into April you need to receive the love and forgiveness of our Heavenly Father, and then you need to turn and be reconciled to the people you are presently holding in contempt and harboring bitterness toward. Don’t miss the main reason God sent Covid-19, don’t waste this opportunity to receive the mercy of God, and repent and work for reconciliation with others (see Matthew 18, Galatians 6, and Nehemiah 5).