Categories
Faith Fear Missions Perspective Reputation

Feeling A Bit Sheepish

Today I’m about to get real with you about fear. What makes me afraid to step out? Why do I recoil when facing my giants? Why is it so easy for me to be afraid? I’m afraid of what might happen. I’ve been down this road many times and what might happen frightens me.

Today I received an email stating our medical insurance premium was due by May 1st. Living overseas in Africa, we have a basic emergency plan; we don’t have a lot of other coverage as we’ve been priced out of the “meatier” policies. When the notice came through, I told my husband, “Uh, our insurance is due the 1st of May and it’s gone up.” A lively conversation ensued as our policy is paid bi-yearly and the price had gone up by about $300.00. Do we renew? How do we renew? What about travel insurance later this year in the USA? And so on.

I might have overreacted (insert sheepish grin) as I remembered in years past when we have had to use our medical insurance and the huge impact it had on our finances not to mention the stress of one of us being unwell. I couldn’t imagine what repercussions we might face if we didn’t renew or find something else for our family.

Truth be told, while we have faced giants, big, scary ones in times past, we are here today. Somehow we made it. God brought us through, He took care of our needs; His record is good and I’m counting on Him to stay true to his Word. I know He will take care of all of our needs and this includes our bills like medical insurance.

Isaiah 41:10 NKJ Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

Maybe, like me, you just need to remember the times God has been there for you before and how He has made a way when it looked like there was no way. He has helped us, and He will help us again!

“If I cannot hear ‘The sound of rain’ long before the rain falls, and then go out to some hilltop of the Spirit, as near to my God as I can and have faith to wait there with my face between my knees, though six times or sixty times I am told ‘There is nothing,’ till at last there arises a little cloud out of the sea, then I know nothing of Calvary love.”                   Amy Carmichael

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Amy Carmichael was a missionary to Japan and India for 55 years and founded the Donavur Fellowship. Her life story is one worth reading. She was also a prolific author and poet. For more quotes by Amy Carmichael, click here.

Categories
Choices Courage Destiny Kingdom Missions Obedience Rescue

It Was Good

When we landed in Africa back in 1987, the wonder of our surroundings took our breath away. The setting was picturesque: where we were to live was set on the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika with the mountains of Tanzania on the other side of the lake seen as a dim outline on the horizon. The afternoon we arrived, full of jet lag, I was sure that since I was in Africa my morning coffee was going to be an amazing event since Africa is known for its coffee.

My hopes were dashed when in the kitchen later in the day, all the coffee that there was to be found on the shelf was a small tin of instant coffee. I was horrified but decided to give the questionable powder, made in neighboring Tanzania, a chance. As a first generation American of Finnish decent, the importance of coffee in our culture’s daily routine is impossible to deny – and the words  “instant coffee” aren’t words we Finns dare to utter, even in jest, when speaking of coffee.

Weeks turned into months and I was still bound to drinking the sullied concoction of coffee-flavored powder and hot water. What I had learned, out of necessity in a very short period of time, was how to make mayonnaise, bake bread, and cook a meal from almost nothing. What escaped me was real brewed coffee. As my borders expanded personally, I braved going to town and the market by myself and learned to speak the local language which helped in all of my bold exploits. Everything I learned wasn’t a result of my curiosity; it came purely out of necessity and the process of learning often left me in a puddle of tears – but I learned over and over that those hard processes were good for me.

Yet, in spite of all my learning, a good cup of coffee in the land of coffee seemed out of my reach. Until one day when I was walking in the market and saw a pile of strange pale colored beans on the ground (for all things in the market were lined up on the ground). I asked the lady selling the strange beans what they were and to my delight she said, “kahawa” (coffee). Without hesitation I scooped up two kilos (a bit over four pounds) and headed home with high hopes of fresh coffee in my mind.

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I knew the coffee needed to be cleaned (obviously) and then roasted in our oven which was easy enough – but how was I to grind it? There was no store where I could buy a coffee grinder or anything like a coffee grinder; but I wasn’t ready to give up. I had seen the ladies in the villages grinding flour with large mortars and pestles, called a “kinu,” made of wood. Of course there were none that were ready-made to be found, I had to order one to be made. After what seemed to be months (which was really only a week or two) the elusive “kinu” was delivered to my doorstep.

It couldn’t be too hard to grind coffee, could it? Once I had my “kinu” I got to the serious business of grinding our coffee beans. The pounding was harder than I thought, it took a toll on my shoulders, but I eventually learned how to work with this contraption. The pestle (large stick that pounds into the mortar) was heavy and it worked best when allowed to fall through my hands and smash the beans. In time, I was able to grind a week’s worth of coffee in minutes without having sore shoulders afterwards.

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I really have used a “kinu” many times and each cup of coffee made it worth the effort! PS – pls ignore the 80s hair and bad perm not to mention the SHOES!

2 Corinthians 1:8-10 LB “I think you ought to know dear brothers, about the hard time we went through…We were really crushed and overwhelmed, and feared we would never live through it. We felt we were doomed to die and saw how powerless we were to help ourselves; but that was good, for then we put everything into the hands of God, who alone could save us…And He did help us and save us…”

It couldn’t be too hard, serving God, could it? Like grinding coffee, it seemed to me when I started out in my life of serving God that it would be simple enough to follow the Leader. Later on I came to understand that what appeared to be easy in the beginning turned out to be hard when the waves of opposition, misunderstanding, and lack met me, it seemed at every juncture. Those waves made it easy for me to want to quit.

Like you, I’ve wanted to quit on more than one occasion. Sometimes I’ve felt like quitting multiple times in a day and I imagine I’m not alone. But I’m still here, still moving forward, holding out hope against hope for a brighter tomorrow.  So what is it that keeps me going when giving up sorely tempts me to walk away? I can answer this question with a question: What is there to go back to? I’ve seen and experienced too much of God to give up on Him.

It is on the other side of my wanting to quit I find those miracles that I’ve prayed for, so the process of being in a place of wanting to quit but refusing to puts me in a place of Divine intervention, and that is an honor. God doesn’t have to step in and save me, He owes me nothing and I owe Him everything, but He always does what He does best: He comes to my rescue. This honor is offered to all but only few dare to walk far enough past the proverbial “line drawn in the sand” to receive it. So it was good when I found myself powerless to help because it placed me in a place of trusting God, hoping in and believing that His promises are true.

Psalm 16:6 ESV “The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.”

Those lines we draw of wanting to quit bring us to what otherwise would have eluded us – a beautiful inheritance. In reality, the lines are pleasant lines if we can just see past what has gotten us there.

So it was good that I was doomed.

So it was good that I was helpless.

So it was good that I was powerless.

For the lines have now fallen for me in pleasant places.

 

Categories
Choices New Year Questions Why

Above My Pay Grade

Today I’m sharing a podcast I posted today about things we just don’t understand. Click the link below to hear the episode.

https://leakpeters.podbean.com/e/above-my-pay-grade/

Categories
Beginnings Choices Fasting Kingdom Missions New Year Obedience Questions

A Captive Audience

We are taught from an early age to “think for ourselves.” Indeed, having the ability to reason a situation through is something best learned early on. My youngest daughter is in 4th grade and she is learning how to think before answering; when she thinks first and processes the work, she generally gets a better grade which makes everyone happy!

Solving math problems definitely requires more brain power for some (like me) more than others. Thankfully, my daughter has learned this skill at a much faster pace than I did. I wasn’t the automatic math genius in school – I spent a great deal of time training my mind to think problems through. Once I finally mastered this skill of reasoning and thought, my grades improved. What I wasn’t prepared for in daily life as an adult when facing life issues was understanding that reasoning life problems through like algebraic equations won’t always produce the correct results.

All of that work to train my thoughts in a certain way had to change.

2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”

In my mind, as I learned to navigate this path called my walk with God, I often found myself arguing with the issues I faced.

Trusting God for His wisdom when facing civil unrest? My mind told me to run but my heart said stay; there was an internal argument taking place in my mind daily in those days. My old debate class lessons quickly found their way back to the forefront of my mind.

Trusting God for buildings when our tent where we meet keeps blowing over? Where was the money going to come from? Math arguments come in handy here, I’d tell myself hundreds of thousands won’t multiply from zero as zero times anything still equals zero!

Much like the lessons I learned at school, lessons of reasoning, I’ve learned another lesson: mentally working out how to walk with God simply won’t work. Much like you can’t apply algebra to conjugating verbs, earthly reasoning cannot apply in our walk with God.

This year as we begin afresh once again, I’ve set my arguments aside. Arguments of why it can’t be done are now my captive audience as I surrender to the process of solving problems in a much more effective way – in the way of the Kingdom. My feeble attempts at solving don’t amount to much anyway in the face of issues that are obviously far beyond my pay grade: comforting the bereaved, growing new churches, expanding into new countries, and loving those who don’t love me back.

My thoughts are captive. I’m listening. I’m learning.

Categories
Patience Rest

Dumpster Diving

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As newly-weds, my husband and I decided to apply for our first credit card. This was when having a credit card wasn’t as commonplace as it is today; my kids would call the process “old school.” Long applications had to be filled out by hand at the bank and it would take some time (compared to today’s process) to get approved and actually receive a credit card. We endured everything that was required of us and the day came when, finally, the card came in the mail.

Like most people I suppose, we had a place on the kitchen counter that grew cluttered with the mail and other miscellaneous “paperage.” That place on the counter slowly began to eat away at my inner peace, as at my core I am my mother’s daughter. She was careful to always keep a clean home and instilled in me that same compulsion: if it’s cluttered it must be cleared.

This compulsion, you might call it haste or impatience, has been the source of irritation to my family. Some, I agree, is justified, and some is not. However, the account of what happened during one of my cleaning moments did result in a great amount of stress and dumpster diving.

Let me explain…

The cards came in the mail and we were aware they had arrived and were in the envelope they came in on the counter. Days passed and I put that information in the back of my mind as I was compelled, as if by the Spirit, to embark on “the great clean” of the century. That day nothing escaped my fury as even the oven received a state-of-the-art scrubbing! Proud of myself, I unloaded the last bag of trash into the dumpster outside (one shared by the community we lived in), and sat down for a cup of coffee. My mother would have even declared the place clean and with that thought, I smiled with a bit of smug self-satisfaction.

Later on the next day, my husband looked to the countertop and noticed the customary pile of post had disappeared.

“Where’s the credit card?” he said with an unmistakable tone of worry.

“It was here on the counter in the envelope.” his voice beginning to quiver.

“I don’t know, didn’t you put them away?” came my honest reply.

Thus began the search of the century that ended with my husband standing up in the dumpster for several minutes going through the trash until he found said credit card, still in its original (albeit stained with coffee) envelope. While this happened over 30 years ago, I have yet to cease being reminded of it.

While I was thankful to have the card in hand, in the fury of our search, we ruined my hours-long cleaning effort and I had to clean up all over again.

I was hasty and I blew it.

Psalm 31:22 TLB “I spoke too hastily when I said, ‘The Lord has deserted me,’ for you listened to my plea and answered me.”

We often become impatient with the circumstances of life, we want answers now! Our impatience clouds our ability to see that God’s given us the credit cards already, and He’s paid the bill. They’re on the counter of life, ready to be used to pay off our debts but we seem to have misplaced them, thrown them away in the dumpster. In our haste, we wonder why God hasn’t come through, why doesn’t He see, doesn’t He care? Right when we are sure He has turned His back on us, in spite of our hastily spoken words, He comes through with an answer – and gently hands us the cards we threw away in our compulsion to get things in order.

Yes, we all blow it and say things we shouldn’t and even begin to wonder about God’s love and care for us. While we may fail, we can be encouraged with the knowledge that God’s love and care never fails, in spite of our baseless doubts. He is always watchful over us in spite of what life may throw our way.

Don’t throw away the credit cards just for a moment of apparent clarity – the clarity we create in our haste only lasts for a moment only to be replaced once again by more clutter as life continues to unfold. However, if you do blow it (as we all do) our Father is more than ready to go dumpster diving and answer you.

Yes, He is just that good.

Categories
Motives Uncategorized

How Dare You?

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Have you ever wondered how someone could question your motives? Felt as if all you do is spend your time trying to prove yourself?

Early on in relationships, there is something to be said for proving oneself. New employees must show themselves worthy of their employers’ trust, new friends earn trust through the test of time, and a fiancée must prove him/herself faithful throughout a time of engagement to prove they are deserving of a lifetime commitment. There is a place and time for proving of motives.

Unfortunately, many find it difficult to move past proving and into trusting and fall into a lifetime pattern of making people prove themselves to us. As a parent of 4 children, I have watched my children pass through times of proving themselves – to me, their friends, teachers, and as they have matured and married, to their spouses. Initially, times of proving for young children are as simple as trusting them to brush their teeth, clean their rooms, and do their homework without being told. As they progress, our confidence in them grows. They are proving themselves.

It’s normal to have moments along the journey of proving ourselves that we fail, and as my kids learned, there were consequences to those moments. I felt badly for them when they faced consequences for their actions: no TV time, early bedtimes, to name a few. Their sweet faces pleading with me to “pleeeease” forgive them. Forgiveness wasn’t the issue, their father and I explained, they were forgiven. They still had to pay the price for their actions.

I remember how angry they were with me as they grew older when I would pepper them with questions, “Where are you going? Who else will be there? How long will you be gone?” To which they would reply, “Don’t you trust me?” The pain in their eyes betrayed their feelings, and it was then that I knew it was time to step back.

As they grew and matured and spread their wings, I cringed when they made certain decisions that I knew were off. I learned to bite my tongue, pray, and see them grow and follow the wisdom that we had instilled in their hearts when they were growing up. Witnessing this process was perhaps the greatest privilege I’ve had as a parent. All of the self-doubt that had plagued me throughout their childhoods was put to rest when I saw them following right paths. They grew up wiser than I could have hoped, smarter than I ever was, and gained reputations of being faithful in whatever capacity they were working or serving in. I am just a little bit proud.

I remain with daughter number 4 at home; she is our “bonus” baby coming home when the 3rd born was nearly 15. All of the lessons I learned with the first 3 have come back to me vividly as I pray to lead her down the same road of learning the importance of her facing the consequences of her actions.

There was a time when friends, close friends, of King David scorned his trust in God. Surrounded by enemies at a time of intense distress, they told him to “give up and run away.”

Imagine how God, Who had faithfully given David and his men victory after victory, must have felt when those who surrounded David, who had seen His power, told him to quit. I wonder if God wanted to ask them, “Don’t you trust me?”

Psalm 11:1,4 TLB “How dare you tell me, ‘Flee to the mountains for safety.’ When I am trusting the Lord?…But the Lord is still in His holy temple; He still rules from heaven. He closely watches everything that happens here on earth.”

“How dare you?”

That’s what David’s response was to those mocking him. Anger filled his heart; he was outraged with their doubt. Hadn’t God rescued them time and again? Why did they need more proof than what they had already seen?

He knew God was faithful, God had proven Himself time and again. He wasn’t going to be silenced into defeat – he told everyone who was near him that God didn’t need to prove Himself. No, he wasn’t going to run away in defeat.

How dare we?

When we have seen God come through for us time and again, question His character by failing to trust Him? It’s as if we have amnesia when trouble comes; we forget all of the miracles, all of the times God came through for us.

How dare we?

I’ve decided that God doesn’t need to prove Himself to me again; I have seen His power, I have experienced miracles that are too numerous to list. I’ve decided not to allow the doubt of others creep into my experience and cause me to question God’s faithfulness. If this means that I alone trust God, as David did, so be it. There is no other that has proven himself to me as my Heavenly Father has – He is closely watching me.

Joshua 1:9 TLB Yes, be bold and strong! Banish fear and doubt! For remember, the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

 

 

Categories
Faithfulness The Call of God Unexplained

The Things No One Ever Tells You

Have you ever felt taken by surprise? Started down a road with “great promise” only to find the road to the promised result is a lot longer and bumpier than you thought it would be?

Disappointed.

Discouraged.

Even defeated.

Normal life events take us by surprise: marriage, children, moving, all of them throw curve balls at us that we had no training on how to catch. More often than we care to admit, we arrive at those events unprepared.

Many of us dream of having children, building a family, something like a Norman Rockwell painting of days gone by: a house, white fencing, a playground in the back for the kids, a dog, and good jobs to sustain it all. What a surprise for the new parents when baby comes home! I remember years ago when we were expecting our first child. We did everything right from the get-go; we wanted the best for our baby. In those days, some of you may remember, Lamaze was all the rage and peer pressure dictated that we attend Lamaze classes to prepare for the baby’s arrival. There, we learned breathing techniques, positions to take to ease the pain of labor and delivery, and were encouraged to have a totally natural birthing experience. In addition to following Lamaze, there was a real push for “supernatural childbirth” in some churches. A cassette tape of teaching accompanied by a small book encouraging women how to believe for a pain-free delivery was circulated. I diligently followed the teachings of both: Lamaze and the process for a pain-free supernatural delivery expecting things to go smoothly.

Fast-forward a few months (mind you I was deep into preparation mode by that time) and one Monday afternoon while walking around in the mall, I felt a strange twinge in my lower back. This came a bit earlier than my due date so initially I thought it was false labor – until the twinges became full-blown knife-in-my-lower-back-put-me-out-of-my-misery pain. My husband, wrapped up in his Monday night football said, “You’re not having that baby!” To which I replied, “Oh yes I am!” It was as if a fire alarm went off and he jumped into action, up and down the stairs, “I’m going! Where is your suitcase?” This was my first undeniable indication that things were not going to go as planned…at all.

It was nearly midnight by the time we cut through all the red tape of checking into the hospital. When I was finally examined, I was told, “Oh this is going to take some time yet.” The night was young, I was strong, and I was determined to follow directions: breathe right, lay on my side, rub a tennis ball on my back, and pray, pray, pray. The minutes turned into hours and the pain, contrary to my great hopes and prayers, went from my determined announcement of, “This is very hard but I’m gonna do this!” To my begging, “Give me SOMETHING!!!” Before my son was delivered the next morning just after 7, I had had two injections for pain and wanted a third but was told when I asked for that third shot that I was too far advanced for more painkillers. Each of my preconceived ideas for a smooth, pain-free delivery went out the door. There was no breathing technique known to man that could’ve helped me – and I wondered how could I have possibly been so ill prepared? Taken by such a surprise? How could I have failed so miserably?

And…the surprises kept coming. My baby had colic for the first full year of his life; sleep was a rare commodity in those days. Slowly, very slowly, I began to predict the unpredictability of parenthood. I threw out books and tapes on perfect parenting and simply listened to other mothers who had walked longer in those shoes than I had. By the time my boy was three, I woke from my disappointed slumber, no longer berating myself for my naiveté, and wanted more children! What was wrong with me? I went through two more deliveries, still unprepared each time, and one adoption but I learned through them all and fiercely loved them all (and still do!). What didn’t bother me so much as time progressed were the surprises that crossed my path. I grew accustomed to rolling with the punches and began to laugh at myself for being surprised; for life, I had learned, was full of surprises.

Life, and its accompanying surprises, has a way of exposing our pride, revealing our lack of faith, and displaying our faults out in the open for all, ourselves included, to see. If only we would enter into adulthood as if we were still children – simply trusting our Father to take care of us no matter what unexpected circumstances arise. When my babies were small, all I had to tell them when trouble came along was Dad and I would take care of it, not to worry. When they heard that answer, they turned over and slept without a care in the world. Mom and Dad were going to take care of everything and that was all the assurance they needed. Oh that we would learn to trust our Father like children again!

Instead of living carefree, we allow the disappointments of life to weigh us down; we’re bent over under the weight of this world.

Age and life experience, another lesson I’ve learned, doesn’t disqualify me from being blindsided by life. Living on the foreign mission field is an unpredictable – and wonderful – adventure. Nothing is normal, anything is possible, and there are unexpected events that take place, sometimes by the hour.

There’s a certain romance in the Western mind about the mission field. I’ve seen it and heard it when traveling stateside and in Europe. We are told by some that they admire what we do, thank God for our service, yet we feel so very under qualified to serve these people God loves so very much and who deserve so much more than we can offer. Somehow, despite our shortcomings, we were given this call and we do our best to be faithful.

While on the subject of missions and the connection between the West and the mission field, I wanted to debunk an idea that some might have about those serving overseas. I get the distinct impression that those on the other side of the pond think missionaries must love everything they do and have lots of faith to get things done. Yes, we love the field, but we don’t always love everything associated with our call and often feel that our faith is so very weak in the face of the great challenges we face. No one loves financial strain that, for the most part, doesn’t come and go for the missionary. It seems financial strain comes to set roots down in everything we do. No one loves to see young children suffer in famine, such as we now have in Malawi, and have our hands tied by finance and circumstance to do anything to bring them relief. No one enjoys rejection, yes, we missionaries and the Gospel we carry are often rejected; we aren’t received with joy and red carpets. It can be a lonely and tiring journey – but the rewards of seeing lives changed far outweighs the bumps we face along the way.

 

Like everyone else, we are not immune to discouragement and find, in the process of time, that we bend over under the stresses of circumstances far beyond our control. Therein our pride is revealed when we think our presence can do anything, for it’s only by the Presence of God can things change. Therein is our lack of faith revealed when we doubt that God hears our prayers when it seems answers are delayed. These are our faults and imperfections and yet God still chooses to use us, any and all of us who dare to walk down this road towards a City that God is building.

Psalm 145:13b, 14 NLT “…The Lord always keeps His promises; He is gracious in all He does. The Lord helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads.”

Categories
Devotion Questions Unexplained

Major Truth in Minor Books

Every year I follow a Bible reading plan that, by this time, brings me to the “minor” prophetic books. I don’t understand why the term “minor” prophets was coined except for the fact that these books are shorter in length than the “major” prophetic books like Isaiah and Jeremiah. From these so-called minor books I’ve learned major truths.

This morning in Habakkuk 1:5 NLT I read, “Look around at the nations; look around and be amazed! For I am doing something you won’t believe even if someone told you about it.” In reading this verse in my devotions, I thought about how many times I have quoted this verse in a positive way, believing God would do something so amazing and out-of-the-box fantastic in my situation. Of course this is what we should expect from God, He is always up to something amazing. But this morning I saw things with a bit of a different perspective.

The past few years have been challenging, a different kind of season where I have seen God work in ways that are amazing but different from the amazing I have been used to. The following verses in Habakkuk 1 verses 6-8 NLT says, “I am raising up the Babylonians, a cruel and violent people. They will march across the world and conquer other lands. They are notorious for their cruelty and do whatever they like. Their horses are swifter than cheetahs and fiercer than wolves at dusk. Their charioteers charge from far away. Like eagles, they swoop down to devour their prey.” If we read those verses in context with verse 5, God doesn’t just use uncomfortable and even difficult situations – He sometimes creates them to work out His purpose. 

We all go through times of incredible, indescribable hardship and wonder how things evolved the way they did and how is God going to get us out of our unbelievable situations. As I read further in Habakkuk 3:17-19 NLT, my eyes were opened: “Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! The Sovereign LORD is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.”

The answer is “even though…yet I will rejoice” in the face of all kinds of trouble, God is my strength. Why is He working as He is? I really don’t know. What I do know is this: whatever He is accomplishing in the trouble, He is going to take care of me. I won’t slip, my steps will be sure. 

Categories
Christmas

First, He Came as a Child

I’ve had the picture of the Savior at Christmas being a baby in a manger but haven’t taken time to really understand that He came as a child. I have had pictures in my mind of the baby Jesus in the nativity scene, surrounded by the wise men, shepherds, Mary, and Joseph. But He was a child before He grew into a man.

Imagine, God Himself, growing and playing with the neighbourhood kids. Perhaps they played versions of soccer, hide and seek, and tag. Since Jesus was the oldest in His family, I wonder if He behaved like the oldest brother by teasing and hassling His younger siblings? Did He have foods that He favoured over others? Did He clean up after Himself?

He was born Emmanuel, God with us, and God came as a child.

We’ve often quoted Mark 10:14 where Jesus says, …Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.” But have we really understood what it means to come as a child?

When the Son of God came as a child, He came in the most unassuming, unimpressive, and innocent way. There was no fanfare or special treatment for the King of kings. He didn’t insist on being recognised or have His bags carried for Him. Children come without conditions; they simply enter into a room looking for those who will embrace them.

“It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty founder was a child himself.” Charles Dickens

With all of the normal activity that surrounds this season, it’s easy to forget the humble history of Christmas. Its “mighty founder” came as a child. Before He grew to fill His assignment, He lived as a child. This is why He had the authority and understanding to tell us to come to His Kingdom as “little children.”

We often say that Christmas is the season for children, and for sure there’s nothing like seeing the sparkle in our children’s eyes as we see it at Christmastime. But, as we grow up, we tend to lose that sparkle as “life happens.”

When did we lose sight of the fact that things aren’t really all that complicated? Family issues, financial complications, marital struggles, all seem to cloud our understanding. When we come to Him as children and leave our struggles with Him, we can trust that He will guide us through to their resolution.

The key to it all is coming, like the Saviour did at the first Christmas, as children.

As we celebrate the season, you might be facing some very complicated and seemingly unsolvable problems. Simple as it may sound, take those problems to the Lord. He is waiting to embrace you and all that you have without precondition. Give your cares to Him and, as a child, trust that He will be with you and take you through.