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Faith Like a Child

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What is “faith like a child”? You would be surprised to know that the phrase does not actually appear in the scriptures (nor is it grammatically correct, but I digress), or at least not in those exact words. But the ideas behind a child-like faith certainly are. Different commentators may have their own take on it. I have seen some speak of faith with humility or a curious faith, and there is wisdom in those thoughts. However, I didn’t learn its meaning from adults, but from a child, a prayer, and a miracle.

Faith Like a Child is Void of Man’s Reason

“Sometimes your brain gets in the way.”

These are words of wisdom from my then seven-year-old. As much as we value reason and knowledge, it is that same reason and knowledge that can be a hindrance to our spiritual growth. God was never meant to be put into a box, into the confines of human reasoning and logic. He often operates outside of it. I learned this from my seven-year-old when her simple prayer with child-like faith brought huge results. It was a reminder that God is still very much at work and we need not fear.

What a Child-Like Faith Looks Like

I was in the middle of my after-dinner routine when I heard the rain start to fall. Shortly after, the thunder began to rattle our creaky old house and the flashes of lightning lit up the night sky. This was unwelcoming both for the child and the adult. I detest loud noises and at the time, my daughter feared thunderstorms as well.

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My precocious and determined daughter marched up to me and told me, “Mommy, I am going to pray for this thunderstorm to stop.” She was a girl on a mission. However, in an effort to spare her from disappointment, I explained to her that the grass, the flowers, and the trees needed rain to grow. Despite my attempt to thwart her efforts, she was steadfast.

If it wasn’t so cute, I might have mistaken her look of annoyance as disrespectful. Sighing at my ignorance, she said, “Mommy, I am not going to pray for the rain to stop, just for the thunder and lightning to stop.” What was I to say? I had taught my daughters to expect miracles when they prayed. I couldn’t backtrack now. So even as I heard the thunderstorm get closer and closer all I did say was, “Okay, honey,” while I mentally prepared myself for the fallout.

But Her Faith Was Bigger Than Mine

She closed her eyes, bowed her head, and very simply said, “God, I pray for the thunder and lightning to stop in the name of Jesus Christ.” As soon as she stopped, the thunderstorm was gone. It was still raining, but there was no more thunder and lightning. My daughter gave me a look that said, “I told you so” as she turned around to resume playing.

Lest I would think that might have all been a coincidence, she would do it again a few more times. And God would respond again. As soon as she stopped praying, the thunder and lightning would cease. It was quite spectacular every time and yet my big adult brain could not comprehend this series of miracles.

I started to pull up the weather radar every time it would happen. Sure enough, there was a sea of green intermixed with large red areas but right over our little town, there was only a green bubble. It is as if the worst of the storm would go right around us, leaving us only the rain. After that, whenever we saw a weather anomaly, my husband and I would jokingly say, “She must have been praying again.”

When You Know God is There, You Need Not Fear

Now as a thirteen-year-old, my daughter loves thunderstorms. She doesn’t pray for them to go away anymore. Even in the midst of a destructive storm that flooded a West Virginia river, blocking access to her camp, she was not afraid. The girls had to be moved to higher ground and parents were prevented from picking up their children until the river was safe to cross. It rattled parents and kids alike. However, she never panicked.

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Her sense of calm was rooted in knowing that God’s power was bigger than the storm. She has seen His power, so when storms are now passing through, she is comfortable in His sovereignty.

But as adults, are we comfortable in His sovereignty? When we see the storms of life pass through, do we fall comfortably in the faith and belief that God is in control? I certainly do not. But I desperately seek to now have “faith like a child,” free of logic and reasoning, that led a little girl to see the hand of God in the storm.

Matthew 19:14 but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”

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  1. Pingback: The Art of Raising Prayer Warriors: Part 2 • Fruitfully Living

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