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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Childish ways ... child-like wonder

I read an interesting blog, and realized it wasn't until many years after I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior that I saw God’s world with wonder and mystery.

I write what I perceive, but I now believe some of my perception is off. Every child, every person, is different, and how we view the world around us is perhaps more determined by our childhood, our family life, than simply saying at age 7 we’re a child and at age 21 an adult.   

When I wrote the following on Dec. 7, my description of childhood wonder was seen through the eyes and heart of a 61-year-old. 

A child,
filled with
wide-eyed wonder,
Gazing sweetly,
enjoying moments
enchanted with all before them.
Eager to search and see,
fear has no meaning.
The world is open to explore

My childhood wonder disappeared by the time I was 8. Santa Claus didn’t exist, my parents divorced, second grade was a nightmare I wouldn’t ask anyone to go through. I saw no wonder, no mystery, not much beauty, only pain and heartache and ongoing struggle.

I finished high school and graduated from college, started a career. Seeing some of the wonder, but not all of it; not knowing there was something better, not knowing what it was I needed.

By the time I found what I needed, I was 29 years old.  I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior at age 31. I married at 40. 

Twenty-one years later I have regained some of the childhood wonder I lost so many years ago. I see the beauty of God’s world. I laugh with less maturity and more childish delight. I understand, not like a child, but with more trust and faith in He who made me who I am today and who I have yet to become. I rejoice that Jesus came to earth for all of us, so lost, some still so far away. He came because of me and because of you.

I am still a child, yet not. I did mature. I did grow wiser, smarter. Yet in some ways I am a long ways from being mature, from being very wise or very smart. When I am smart, I study God’s word, I spend hours reading His word for me on a given day. When I am smart I know how little it is I do know. Only in Him do I become smart.  All alone, when I rely on myself, I do stupid things, say stupid words and act stupidly. I can see I have not given up childish ways. Anger and pity and fear and anxiety all strike and I am lost.

My parents are gone. I cannot rely on them. When I did rely on someone, it was generally my mom, to help me get past the so very dark days I often found myself in. 

But the reliance I truly needed was not to be found in any other person. Not my mom, not my husband. It could and can only be found in my Lord Jesus. He brings me through all my difficulties when I give it all to Him. Giving your whole life to Him is what needs to be done. Succeeding at giving Him your all is so much easier said than done. It doesn’t come all at once.  

God waits for us. He leads us, guides us, and if we are wise, we allow Him to do so and we gratefully follow and are obedient to His command.

Life is not easy. Sometimes you think living one place is easier than another. Sometimes you think living near loved ones will bring you comfort. You wonder how to cope when a loved one dies … human or pet … love is love. We are lost, so so lost.   

Have you ever stopped to think what God did just to bring us hope? He came to earth Himself, as a baby, the baby Jesus. Christmas is a time to celebrate His birth. It shouldn’t matter if He was born in December or June; Dec. 25 is the day His birth is celebrated.  We are reminded how great God’s love is for us in John 3:16-17 -- "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved."

The birth of Christ Jesus is truly a miracle. A wondrous mystery, lying dormant, hidden from our hearts until we are awakened. That awakening is something splendorous to behold. The Light has come into the world and we have been given a glimpse. Our doubts turn to faith and trust. We believe in He, the Almighty  One.  We see the wonder, the mystery. We see His grace. We see His love. And we are forever changed.

We are a child of the King Most High. A child … we give up childish ways, but we retain child-like wonder as we look with eyes aglow at all of God’s magnificence and glory.

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"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths." - Proverbs 3:5-6