Jump Start # 2745
Psalms 133:3 “Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.”
NOTE: Tomorrow is Christmas holiday. There will be no Jump Start tomorrow. Enjoy the day with your family and the Lord.
Christmas Eve—that’s today. It has always been one of my favorite days of the year. You hope all the UPS deliveries have arrived, everything is wrapped and now you wait for the coming morning. There is always an excitement in the air. It’s great when you still have little ones in the home. The day awakens early with joyful anticipation. And for parents, seeing the joy in their children’s eyes is priceless.
Our home is pretty quiet these days. The kids have all grown and now have their own families. But when they come, the energy level peaks and the fun begins. Nothing like little ones. The curiosity, fun, adventure and joy they bring is better than any vacation.
And, I thought on this day, borrowing from our passage about children, I would reflect upon some of the great joys that children bring to our lives. We need to be reminded of that. Raising little ones can be very stressful, scary and expensive. Sometimes all a parent sees are the battles about going to bed, cleaning up the room, not making messes. That’s part of parenting. It’s necessary. But the wonderful joys certainly ease those tough times. And, in all families, there are days of tears. Shots at the doctor’s offices, death of pets, broken hearts, disappointments and hurt feelings are the mountains that we climb with our children. Life lessons are learned through those moments. However, the wonderful, wonderful memories that are etched upon your heart is something that can never be taken away.
Here are a few things that came to my mind this day:
- The innocence of love. That sweet little hand that reaches up and takes your hand, nothing like that. Those little crayon drawn hearts, and dandelion bouquets mean more to you than anything a florist can make. Those little eyes that look up to you and smiles can drive the worst of days away.
- The joy of togetherness. I believe this is one of the greatest gifts of family and fellowship. Toys are nice and kids love them, but give them a box and you for an afternoon and you’ll have the best time. Children like to be near you. When my four were little, I often would be working on a sermon at home. I’d have a laptop, open Bible and a pad of paper spread out on my lap and one of them would climb up on top of all of that with one of their little books and suddenly the world and all of it’s problems seemed to go away. We’d go off on an adventure that the book took us to. And, one of the crushing outcomes of this pandemic has been the loneliness and isolation, especially among the elderly.
- The inquisitive fascination with learning. Kids love to learn. And, often, it’s not from text books, but just from seeing the big people doing things. They’ll ask thousands of questions and want to give it a try themselves, often when they shouldn’t. Talking a walk with a little one and they’ll stop to stare at a bug, ask you about butterflies, pick flowers and want to throw rocks into a puddle. Their little hearts are exploding with adventure and wanting to know things.
- The wondrous trust that they put in you. As long as you are near by, everything is ok. When scared, they are looking for you. Sitting on your lap or cuddled up beside you, they can fall asleep knowing that you’ll make all things right for them. There is such trust. They don’t see dangers like we do. They don’t know the world like we do. You are the bravest, strongest and best person in the world to them.
And, when I look over these four qualities found between children and their parents, shouldn’t it be the same for us towards God. An innocent love; the joy of togetherness; the inquisitive fascination with learning, and the wondrous trust that we have in the Lord. Maybe this is one reason why Jesus used a child as an example of what He wanted in His disciples. And, maybe, just maybe, we have gotten to big for those things with God. And, when that happens, the sense of awe, joy and love is missing. We turn our faith into facts and intellectual truths that are believed. Worship becomes a matter of duty and not joy. And, unlike a little child, our faith becomes hollow and lifeless.
I was watching a picture my daughter sent of her little girls at the zoo. Just looking at them bent down looking into the eyes of a giant turtle reminded me of what I saw years ago in their mother. Just joy, curiosity, and enjoyment. Life is good as a child.
I hope as you spend some time with your family tomorrow, that these points will become evident and help you in your love for them and in your walk with the Lord. The Lord has given me so many gifts in my life. He has treated me much better than I ever deserved. The gift of life and salvation tops the list. He has given me ability and opportunity that has helped me so much. He has given me a wonderful wife to journey through life with. And, high on my list of Heaven’s gifts are four that are named: Nathan, Sarah, Jordan and Joel.
Count your blessings…they are numerous.