How do I just be your child? In the last week, this is the question that has been going over and over in my head. With all of life’s ups and downs, decisions, being a grown up and so much more… how do I just be a child of God?
I love to see pictures of my children. Moments where they are laughing captured on film or exciting adventures we have taken together printed for my wall. But one of my favorite pictures of all is a picture of me holding my son. It was taken at a quiet moment. One that wasn’t filled with laughter or adventure. It was filled with a little boy needing a cuddle with his favorite teddy bear. It was a moment that I was actually reading the Bible and had to set it down to pick him up in my lap. It was also a moment I remember clearly because I remember the exact prayer I prayed over his life. “Jesus, keep him in the palm of your hand.”
This is a prayer I say often over my children when I sneak in at night to make sure they are ok before I go to sleep myself. I pray it over them after I drop them off at school. But its also a prayer I need to pray over myself. Its easier to pray for my kids or others sometimes then over myself. Oh I can send prayers of request God’s way like for our finances and so forth, but to pray for simplicity is another thing.
This year I feel God gave me the word “simple.” I think it means He wants me to just strip back all the noise and things that get in the way of just being His child. So I keep asking myself… what does it even mean to just be His child? What does it mean to just “be” in the palm of His hand?
To be a child you have to trust. I remember my children crying out for me in the night and I would go and pick them up and wipe away their crocodile size tears. In an instant they would be calm and look at me with complete trust because they knew I was there and they had nothing to fear. I think I have a hard time just simply being His child because I set myself before him, telling Him I trust in Him, and then I pick it back up again. To trust means to lay something down at His feet, walk away and let go of control. It is to ask God to show up in such a miraculous way because you trust He is greater then yourself. It’s remembering when you are scared and crying, just like that baby in the crib, that He can walk into the room and pick you up and everything changes. He can command the winds and waves to stop in a second and part the Red Sea for His children to cross to safety. Its remembering that before your doubt and worry or hurt from life, you where His child first.
“Abide in Me, and I in you.” John 15: 4-9
To be a child you have to spend time with an adult. Most children don’t raise themselves. They have to have guidance, instruction and someone to remind them to brush their teeth before bed. In order to be His child you have to spend time with Him. This is probably something I am most guilty at. I get all the way to the very last minute of my day and realize that the moments I spent with my Savior where few and far between. They where quick prayers of rescue, shot gun moments where I said a prayer over my food. But when was the last time that I laid myself before my God and spent time in His presence, regardless of the time that past? When was the last time I prayed and listened until the miracle happened or the storm past?
This last week I have been fasting and praying over our adoption. We had some obstacles come up with the adoption agency that we where going with. So we where refunded our money and now we are back at square one interviewing agencies. The kicker is the cost has now gone up considerably. I have been praying all week and all I feel is to trust in Him, which leads back to my first point about being a child you have to trust. But this week, as I have continued to fast and pray for a $15,000 miracle to drop from heaven for this child we have prayed, God asked me to change my prayer. He asked me to pray, “How can I help change the world.” Yes, we are still only adopting one child (lol), but He doesn’t want me to just look at the $15,000 obstacle in the way of our calling. He wants me to pray for more, not just money, but miracles that show His glory moving and working and changing the course of not just one child’s life or our family, but the world. What is the end result, I don’t know but I will be obedient in my prayer.
This leads to my third thought on being a child. To be a child you have to learn obedience. Not all children learn to obey and we can tell because they turn into adults that struggle with authority and much more. I have seen people close to me struggle with obedience and they always feel like the world is against them, when really its due to their lack of being able to be under someone else’s will. To obey God is better then any sacrifice you may think you have to make. To be obedient to God is saying that not only do you trust Him or that you spend enough time with Him and know his heart, but it means that you will follow. Follow His leading where ever that may take you. If that means Africa, then so be it, but if that means praying and fasting for your entire neighborhood to come and know Christ… then that is great too. Its listening to the still, small and sometimes loud voice of God speaking and shaking you to go above and beyond yourself to show His glory.
He doesn’t always call us to be obedient with gestures of grandeur, sometimes He asks simple things, stripped down in order for you to follow. Maybe He asks you to put up a prayer wall in your bedroom and write down prayer requests and circle them as they come to past, like April did for me for a whole year when I was praying for a new job. Maybe He asks you to sell all your belongings and move to another country only to feel defeated, but end up exactly were He wanted you all along… like my family. Maybe its holding on to the promise He whispered in your heart when you where a child that He would call you to serve Him. Or maybe its trusting that by spending time with Him and abiding in Him, His presence would abide in you.
So how do I just be a child of God… I surrender. I lay all of my thoughts, mindset, distractions and simply come to Him and lay everything down at His feet. One of the definitions of surrender is to give oneself up into the power of another. So as His child I will trust, spend time with Him more then any other influence in my life, obey His voice and direction – but above all I surrender my will and ask that His will be done. I ask that He keeps me in the palm of His hand because no other place is sweeter. I give myself up to His power and guidance, because if the wind and waves can listen and surrender to His will, then so should I.