Friday, October 15, 2010

The Joy of a Child

One of the top questions I get asked in life is "When are you and Belinda going to have children?"  Well I don't have the answer to that and while I know that most people who ask it have no ill intentions, sometimes it does get old.  I usually just smile and say that it's in God's hands and that we have the teenagers we're working with and that's enough for the moment.  It's not that I do not like to be around children, because to be honest children make me smile.  I have shared before about the soft warm heart that my nephew Noah has in posts like this.  Even just yesterday he got excited when he was with Belinda because he thought he heard my voice.  To hear that melted my heart because I honestly wonder sometimes if anyone other than a couple of people would be excited to see me.

I'm sitting in the coffee shop about to do some school work when a young child probably about 3 years old came walking in with his grandparents.  His face lit up and he said "wow it sure smells good in here!", to which his grandfather said "it sure does".  I guess first of all I have an extreme of emotions running in me about this.  I honestly do not miss being a child at all, because I would not want to have to re-live some of the painful experiences in life that I have endured.  But I have really missed my granny recently who surprisingly passed away 2 1/2 years ago.  I guess seeing this child with his grandparents like this made me miss those moments with my grandparents when I was small (yes, I was small at one point in life).  Back to the point, the joy in this little boys face really triggered my emotions.  It then made me think of another child I saw earlier this year.

We were at the Dairy Barn (the local ice cream shop) earlier this year when a mom and her young son probably about 4 years old came to get ice cream.  I can't remember everything in detail but I do remember that when the little boy got his ice cream that there was something wrong with the order (size, flavor, or something).  The mom said "I'm sorry it's not what you wanted" to which he replied with a huge smile "It's ok".  The boy wasn't concerned that it wasn't exactly what he had ordered.  He wasn't concerned with the thought that they "owed" him and needed to fix the order.  He was overjoyed, thankful, and extremely content with what he did have.  Wow!  This really struck me I think because we live in a society that is filled with complaining and with expectations that people owe them.  

Anyway all of these thoughts on the soft, joyful hearts of some children made me think.  We hear it said many times about having the faith of child like it talks about in Matthew 18:3.  The first song I ever sang in church was even the song "Like a Child" by Jars of Clay. But what if we lived our lives with the joy of a child, specifically like these I have mentioned?  If we are children of God, then we should have the joy of one that comes from being in Jesus Christ.  I do not mean that we need to fall back and have the lack of responsibility like a child does.  But consider how much worry you have in life and how much stress.  Sure it's unavoidable.  I know because I have allowed my stress to develop in me a stomach ulcer.  As I grow in Christ, I want to truly lay my burdens down at the feet of Jesus, and not pick them back up.  I want to be overjoyed and content with everything that I have, even if it's not exactly like I pictured it.  I want have a heart that is full of the joy that only comes from being a child of God.

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