by Emily Barton
Communications Co-ordinator, CBN Europe
There is nothing quite as magical as being a child at Christmas time. The advent calendar, the presents, feeling like a celebrity because you were a ‘very important’ sheep in the nativity. There is such purity in the excitement of a child, but as we grow, those things start to lose their magic.
Advent calendars turn to bowls of muesli; socks turn out to be very practical gifts and the thought of making a sheep costume sends shudders down spines of parents across the globe. As dull as those things sound, the majority of people accept these things as simply being a part of “growing up”.
Much like the well-known tale of Peter Pan, I refuse to grow up.
Now I’m not about to run off to Neverland and leave my life behind, as tempting as that sounds! We all go through the process; moving out, employment, paying the bills, the food shop and the wonderful (and never-ending task) of housework. Growing is never something to resent or attempt to avoid. God is very clear about how he desires us to thrive and mature.
In Colossians 2, Paul talks about us being “Firmly rooted, built up and established in faith”. It’s biblical for us to grow up! However, when we grow up, how often do we lose that spark, that excitement?
This can relate to our spiritual walk with Jesus too. You fall in love with our Saviour; you run free, you discover His Goodness and mercy, and then you blink. Before you know it, you’ve been a Christian for 40 years. You’ve read the Bible back to front multiple times and you pray all the time. But the spark has gone. The Bible doesn’t jump to life like it used to. Your prayers seem less passionate than at first. The worship song that used to bring you to your knees is simply another song to sing. It’s frustrating, it hurts, and it’s nothing like it used to be.
Re-connect with that child-like faith, with awe and wonder
Yes, it is biblical to grow up, but it has never been God’s design for us to lose our wonder. Matthew 18 says, “Truly I tell you, if you do not change and become like little children, you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven”.
When I was a little girl, there was no one I loved more than my father (sorry, Mum). No one could make things better like my Dad could. If I wanted something, I knew my dad would give it to me. More importantly, whatever I really needed, my Dad would provide for me.
As I have grown up, I have needed my Dad less and less. I don’t need Him to tie my shoelaces, or hold me when I’m sad, although it does help! I simply don’t need my Father in the way I used to as a child. However, I know for a fact, that if I did need my dad to do something for me, he would be there in a heartbeat.
It’s the same with our Heavenly Father! When we first start our journey with The Lord, we are learning new things all the time. We learn how to pray, how to read and meditate on His word, and how to stand up against the enemy. Over time, we grow in our faith and become accustomed to the ways of God and unknowingly, begin to shut Him out. We think we can do things ourselves, we think “I’ve been doing this for years” and then scratch our heads when things don’t go our way. God is so clear about us not leaning on our own understanding but trusting in Him. Asking for His help, even if we’ve done it a million times.
This Christmas season, I implore you to do 2 things:
1) Grow – Read His word, meditate on it. Allow the Lord to minister to your heart. Learn from the mistakes you have made, dust yourself off and head into battle once more, taller and stronger than you were before.
2) Find your inner child again – Seek the Father, climb up onto his lap and ask. Re-connect with that child-like faith, with awe and wonder. Ask for the things you desire, the things you would circle in your Argos catalogue; the things that make you giddy. Rip open the wrapping paper and forget about the mess!
Seek your Heavenly Father. He’s waiting to hear the voice of His child again.
If you feel like you have lost the wonder and would like someone to pray with you, call our prayer team on 0300 561 0700 or submit a prayer request online