3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
Matthew 18:3-5 (New International Version)
What makes someone truly great? According to the world, greatness is defined by a person’s strength; whether that be physical, mental, social, or financial. However, how does God define greatness and how can we obtain it?
A Child’s Greatness
That was the question that Jesus’s disciples asked and the Lord’s answer was surprising. Jesus called for a young child to come to Him and he explained that this young child was the greatest in God’s eyes. What does a child have that makes him great?
A Child Trust
A child is limited in what they can and can’t do. They have to depend on their parent or guardian to meet the needs that they can’t get for themselves. When they ask something of their caretaker, they believe that their request will be answered. They recognize that the one that is over them can do things that they can’t do and trusts that their parent has their best intentions at heart and will give them what they need.
A Child of God
How does a child trusting in their parent connect with being great in God’s sight? God loves us and wants to provide for us, just like a parent wants to provide for his children. As children of God, we ought to trust that the Lord will provide all that we ask of Him. When we demonstrate this trust in Him, He will bless us with great abundance. Therefore, greatness to God is not about one’s own strength, but about depending on His divine strength and trusting that He will provide in every aspect of our lives.
Difficulties in Trust
Trusting in God comes naturally to most young children. However, trusting in the Lord becomes more challenging as a person matures. Most of these trust issues are the result of things that happened in one’s past. For example, a person who may have been raised by parents who were not dependable may project these qualities onto God as they grow up. As a result, they don’t trust God to provide for them and so go out and attempt to meet their needs themselves. How can a faith follower of God overcome these trust issues?
Our Parents Aren’t God
First of all, we need to recognize that our parents are not God. Like us, they make mistakes because they are only human. Therefore, we ought not to project the lack of dependability our parents had in our childhood onto the Lord. For the Lord is not like us that are finite. He is infinite, all-powerful, all-knowing, and ever present in our lives; and never once did the Lord neglect us or make a mistake in our lives.
God Meeting Our Needs
Secondly, we need to stop and consider all the things which the Lord has done for us already without us asking for it. The fact that we are alive and breathing right now is proof that He is meeting our needs. With this knowledge, we can step forward with confidence and ask God for the things that we need and trust that He will fulfill our needs in a way that He knows best; for He knows what we need better than we do.
Time to Trust
It is time for us to stop depending on our own strength to provide for our needs and trust the Almighty to meet them. Let us have a faith like a little child and know that our Heavenly Father is always with us and will never leave us and will take care of us. Having this child-like faith is the key to being great in the eyes of the Lord.