During the service at church last Sunday, something grasped my furtive glances. Standing in front of me was a family of three- a father, mother, and a daughter. It was time for praise and worship and so we were all standing and singing songs to God. My eyes were particularly caught by the young girl in the family. She is probably six years old. I can tell by how she was dressed and the way she moved. With hands held high and frame standing tall, she sang. She was singing those joyful and sweet songs to God. She was very natural. She didn’t care if the stranger beside her wasn’t raising her arms. She was just.. singing. And praising. And worshiping. I thought to myself, “How can this young girl actually understand what she’s doing? Or what she’s singing. Or even what she’s singing for. But her heart is so pure and true, that no matter how immature she is she gets to praise her God. Fully. Genuinely. Innocently.”
Wait, what? Did I just say immature? But I stand corrected! It was rather a mature act of faith for someone at her age. With all her purest intentions, she worshiped her God with her whole heart, with no holds barred, with no hypocrisy and refusal. Without reservations (I know that sounds familiar). Without any shame or guilt. What is in this child that makes her do so?
Jesus said in Luke 18:17,
I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.
Jesus doesn’t tell us to act like some childish brat who throws tantrums when caught up in the midst of mishaps and troubles. But He’s telling us to be childlike in our faith. Because a child’s faith is pure, all-out, loyal, true. But how can this be?
Take the basic example of a parent-child relationship. A young boy heeds the advice of his mother. He doesn’t have to have double thinking as to whether he will listen and obey his parent. Why? Simply because he has faith in his mother that she loves him and that she will never want anything bad for her son (Well, if the young boy is a rebel, that would be a totally different story). This simple scenario is the same with our relationship with God. The more that we have faith in Him, the more that we trust Him. The more that we trust Him, the more that we obey.
Too often, we, adults, easily get so entangled with our problems that we totally forget that we can overcome them by praising and worshiping God with all that we are. As we get older, our hearts become covered with cobwebs of hate, doubt, and anger that get thicker and thicker with time.. We become cold in our faith and we fall away from the unwavering source of hope. But as we seek God with all our heart, we can discover for ourselves that He never wants us to suffer or be wayward in our journey in life. Instead, He wants to fill us with joy and gladness that despite the trials, we can find peace in Him, the kind of peace that the world can never offer. He wants us to trust Him by having a childlike faith that purely and genuinely acknowledges that He is God, that He is the Lord and that nothing, absolutely nothing, bad would He ever want for us.
As I stood there, I was in a state of awe by that simple act of the child in front of me. Nevertheless, it wasn’t my first time to see a kid in the act of worship, but its impact wasn’t as strong as it was at that moment. Standing there, feeling as if listening to the silent preaching of the child, I uttered, “Lord, I want to praise You again even in the midst of a storm.” The silent preaching, thus, made me silent in wonder.
P.S. I don’t really observe people and wander my thoughts everytime we praise and worship at church. It was just a different moment that day. I believe that was also part of the preaching for me. ^^
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6