Aside from the heartaches we’re all learning to live with, do you know what the biggest problem with getting old is? To me, it’s not the wrinkles, weight, weakness, pains, grunts getting in and out of cars and recliners, colonoscopies (though that one’s up there) (yes, that was a bun pun), or the hair which apparently can’t afford the penthouse anymore and moves into studio apartments in the nose and ears. Those all suck, but I think the worst thing is that you know there’s still a kid inside you, no matter what the exterior feels or looks like.
Jesus saying we need to be like children is one of the most essential parts of the Gospel to me, and I’ve preached it many times over the years. But it means so much more now. It’s not just about keeping myself from submitting to religious and political systems. It’s about hope. It’s about a childlike hope keeping the heartaches, hurts, or anything else on the list from locking who God sees me as in a dark little room in the back of my soul.
Hope is one of the the three parts of God’s nature 1 Corinthians 13 says remain with us forever, yet we rarely see it as anything more than wishes buried under years of baggage. We’re so used to the negativity around us, we let it become our identity. But most children live in hope—they dream, imagine, and create without fear of failure or rejection. They trust God without reservation, and love people unconditionally.
Let the free, joyful, brilliant, powerful child of God you’re known as in heaven be who you are here. Let the little kid who knows Jesus’ faithfulness, hope, and love be in charge of sorting through your thoughts and feelings. Be intentional with hope, wonder, joy, and love. Let them show you the best paths to take, and let the kid in you lead the way there.
“God is the source of hope. As you trust in him, I pray the power of the Holy Spirit will fill you so completely with peace and joy, you’ll overflow that confident hope to everyone” (Romans 15:13, paraphrase).