This post originally published September 21, 2012.
Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” And he laid his hands on them and went away. ~ Matthew 19:13-15
How many times have we heard this simple story? How many times have we shaken our heads at those disciples who kept the sweet, innocent children from Jesus?….
Friend, the disciple rebuking the little ones is me. It is I. I am that sinner.
How many times have I prevented my children from coming to the lap of Christ? How many times was I in a hurry, or impatient, or unkind?How many questions do I brush off because I do not know the answer, or I have other concerns? How many times have I neglected to sit with my children, to bring them before Christ?
Where did the mornings go when we could have opened the Bible–but we didn’t? Where are the evenings that we should have prayed–but we did not?
And yet, the Lord has entrusted four precious children to me to disciple. I have failed, and I have fallen short. Yet, in His mercy and wisdom, He has allowed me to continue to serve Him in this manner.
Friend, some days I am overcome by the burden of this parenting gig. It is so very difficult, and so very eternal. I am certain there are days when you, too, feel the weight of eternity resting on your shoulders–when you reach the end of the day and realize you’ve concentrated on the urgent rather than the important.
I am often overcome by how utterly unworthy I am. I love Jesus, I love Scripture, and I love people. Sometimes though, in my own home I am that anxious disciple—brushing away the children for fear of bothering the Lord. Usually, I’m far more concerned about my own inconvenience than God’s. Why do I tell you this? I suspect we share a commonality, our human nature. Maybe you, too, are in a hurry. Perhaps you have other worthy things to be doing.
Today, let’s remember together that our little people need us. They need to be loved. They need to see us seek out Jesus earnestly and sincerely with our whole hearts.
Today, our little ones need to be led to the lap of Jesus–not hurried on their way. They’ll be on their way soon, living adult lives in a world that involves us only a little. Today, let us take the time to sit with them, to open the Word, to pray, and to love.
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Image: Bob Apple, Frederick Morgan (1856-1927), Public Domain
~ Danika Cooley
Danika Cooley is the author of When Lightning Struck! The Story of Martin Luther (Fortress Press, 2015), Wonderfully Made (CF4K, 2016), and Bible Road Trip. Her work has been featured in internationally-recognized children's magazines over 150 times.