Christianity 101

When the Bible speaks about having child-like faith, it might be a hard concept to grasp.  We’re not children, after all.  We’re adults and think we’re perfectly capable of running our own lives.  Therein lies the problem.

How easily does a child understand there is no Santa Claus?  Their childlike faith insists “there is, too,” even though they can’t see him.  They write Santa and presents magically appear on CHRISTmas morning.  How cool is that?  When my mom told me there was no Santa, she said I put my hands on my hips and replied, “I guess there’s no Easter Bunny, either!”  Double heartbreak in one fell swoop.

We can’t write God with our wish list. Even if we knew the address, how much postage do we put on the envelope?  And there’s that whole zip code issue. There’s a much better (and cheaper) alternative.  Prayer.  That’s where most of us fail.  We are so much better at running our lives than anyone else could possibly be, we don’t feel there’s a need to pray.  So, we don’t.  We stress, we worry, and things go wrong.  Then we pray.

Here’s a thought.  How about a little prevention?  We get an annual physical (or we should,) we see our dentist twice a year (or we should,) we regularly change the oil in our car (or we should,) but we draw the line at asking for help in advance.

Most children do it.  You know the nightly prayer.  “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, and if I die before I wake, I pray dear Lord my soul to take.”  Did you spot the preventive part of the prayer?  A child asks to be kept safe but are smart enough to know it might not happen. So, just in case, they ask Father to take them home. Adults don’t ask for simple help prior to making potential life-changing decisions.  We “assume” we don’t need help and half the time mess up our lives worse than they were to begin with.

Faith isn’t a coat you can put on or take off at will.  You either have it or you don’t.  Once you profess your faith in Christ, you should remember Father wants us to come to Him for advice.  Don’t you ask your earthly dad for his advice?  What’s the difference?  It’s that prevention thing again.  We’ll ask our siblings, co-workers, boss, next-door neighbor, the guy picking up the garbage if we can catch him fast enough, etc., but we don’t turn to God.  What’s up with that?  What makes you think the guy waiting on a bus has better insight into your life than your Father?

It’s so simple it’s scary.  “Father, would you please guide me in what to do?  I’m no good at running my own life and I need direction.  So, I’m going to turn ______ (fill in the blank) over to you, and I know you’ll take care of it.  Thank you.  Susie.”  Hmm.  “Dear Santa—All I want for CHRISTmas is a new bicycle.  Thank you.  Timmy.”  Hmm.

Ain’t faith wonderful?  Ask and ye shall receive, and you don’t even have to waste money on a stamp.  Sometimes the answer is no, but He never fails to answer.  As an aside, may I add that it does no good to pray for rain if you don’t buy an umbrella. What do I mean by that? Timmy asks Santa for a bicycle and spends his time thinking about where he’ll ride his new bike. If you pray for rain but decide you don’t need to take an umbrella with you, you’re giving up on God before He even has a chance to answer your prayer. Be like Timmy. Pray for rain and take that umbrella with you or buy one if you don’t have one. Actions speak louder than words, and faith is action applied to prayer.

Bottom line—let go and let God.  You’re pretty much not going to be any good at running your own life, so why try?  When you professed your faith in Christ, that’s exactly what you did.  Professed your faith. So, get an umbrella, put on your faith coat and don’t take it off.  Only when you start having a childlike faith do you ever achieve the most glorious benefit of Christianity.  Utter and abiding peace.  Nothing beats it.  Chocolate-covered marshmallow bunnies come close, but they only come once a year.  Faith and trust happens every day.

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