Running boldly into the arms of the Father
For a parent, watching their child learn to walk is one of the most exciting and memorable early milestones. We can envision the scene: mom and dad space themselves out in the living room a couple feet apart from each other with their little daughter between them. Mom is crouched down close behind her baby, ready to catch her the moment she falls while dad is a couple feet away, eagerly calling and motioning for his daughter to come to him. The child wobbles and teeters as she tries to move forward and find her balance. She tries to steady herself on the nearby furniture. She starts cruising along holding onto the couch but she falls down and cries and mom helps her back up on her feet. In a final attempt, the daughter looks up into the encouraging face of her father and makes a mad dash towards dad, falling straight into His arms. Dad beams with fatherly love and joy as he receives his daughter, praising her for making it over to him. "You did it! You made it!" This is a tender picture of our Heavenly Father toward us, His sons and daughters. No matter how old you are or how long you've been walking with Him, He always sees you as His precious little child. He is never too far off, intently looking down at us with a twinkle in His eye, a compassionate smile and open arms saying “Come to Me, my child!”
Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.' Matthew 19:14
God loves the little children and perhaps nowhere in scripture is this more evident than when Jesus famously said "let the little children come to me." When parents were bringing their children to Jesus so He could lay hands on them and bless them, the disciples first shooed them away, likely thinking that the children would be a nuisance to Him. But Jesus insisted on having the children come to Him without hindrance, declaring that the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to these little ones. Indeed, it is by coming to Jesus that we have been made righteous and acceptable to God the Father. By way of His Son, we have been adopted into God's family as His sons and daughters and now every child of God is counted as a citizen of heaven with open access to the Father. As God's children who were made right with God through Jesus, we no longer have to fear or feel ashamed when we approach God in prayer or fellowship. We can come boldly to His throne of grace unreservedly and as often as we like knowing the Father has accepted us, loves us and welcomes us with open arms.
Like a toddler who is learning to take their first steps, we too are growing and learning how to walk out the life that we have been called to live in obedience to the Father. Learning to walk in Jesus’ footsteps can feel daunting even at the best of times and no doubt, our Christian walk is going to have its ups and downs. But like little children who are unable to help themselves without the guidance and resources of their parents, as God’s children, we must come to our Heavenly Father daily, fully expectant and dependent on Him to care for and protect us. But just as the disciples hindered the little children from coming to Jesus, we must guard ourselves from others who may try to stop us from coming to God and growing in a personal relationship with Him. They may be ignorant to or offended by the fact that God is not far away and does not only make Himself accessible to the spiritually elite that demonstrate good works or behaviour. The reality is that we become God’s children by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone and there is nothing we can do to make God love us any more or any less. Like any good parent, He simply longs for friendship and intimacy with His children.
Today, Jesus is still saying “let the children come to Me.” Rest assured that wherever you find yourself today in your walk with God, you have a good, loving and faithful Father Who is on the other side encouraging you to come to Him. Are you weary or afraid? Are you hurting or filled with regrets and mistakes? Come. Don't wait! Run to Him now and rest within the love and safety found in the arms of your Heavenly Father.