Kids are great, we have three of them and we love them. They have brought an abundance of joy and chaos into our home and have graciously kept us from sleeping in for years. Do I pray daily that the schools would reopen? Yes, but this in no way diminishes my love for them, ok! In all seriousness, even in the hard days there are always moments where my kids bring me much delight as a father. One thing I didn’t expect about becoming a father though is how much they would teach me about God and His people. In scripture Christians are repeatedly referred to as God’s children and God is constantly referred to as our Father. In fact, this is the main way scripture seeks to help us understand our relationship to God.
In the Gospel of John it says, “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” Later in 1 John 3:1 John writes, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” Faith in Christ means we become children of the most high God. Here is one thing I have learned about children since becoming a father.
Children Need A lot of Help!
I recently got into building model cars with my 5 year old son, the box says for ages 12 and up but he’s mature for his age. When he is not gluing his fingers together or spilling the paint he often grabs the unfinished model, runs up the stairs and shouts to anyone willing to listen, “Look what I made!” The irony here is that he didn’t make what he is holding up, if anything, he significantly hindered the progress. Without my help, he would still be trying to read the instructions in French… he’s smart, but he’s not that smart.
You see, children are dependent upon their parents. They require significant help just to survive and so it is with God’s children. We are dependent upon our God, and yet, if we are honest, we are often quick to exclaim, “look what I have made!” Whether it is our righteous living or our ability to provide for ourselves, taking credit for these things looks a lot like a 5 year old taking credit for the model car that Daddy made for him. Children of God, we are dependent upon God for our provision, our righteousness and ultimately our salvation.
So rather than take credit for the fruit of God’s grace in our lives let’s be quick to give credit where credit is due. Before kids enter into the ‘I’ll do it myself phase’ they are often unashamed about asking for help. Dad can you put this on, tie these, move those, help with this and wipe that? This is the only way they are able to get through their day. They are unashamed to ask for help, they embrace their dependence, and it produces in them a constant appeal to their provider. Likewise, children of God should be unashamed about asking for help, we should embrace our dependence on our heavenly father.
We have a pretty steep hill in our backyard and our littlest guy is pretty scared of walking down it. He will often stand at the top of the hill, look down at it, become filled with fear and then yells for Mama or Dada. One of us will walk over to assure him that he is going to be ok and then we will grab his little hand and lead him down the big scary slope. We delight in helping our little guy. God looks upon his own people (Israel) who are filled with fear and through the prophet Isaiah he reassures them with these words, “For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear; I will help you” (Isa. 41:13). This same God becomes our father through Christ, it is a wonderful thing to depend on a father like this.
As children of God may we be unashamed to ask our Father for the help we need this week.
Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.