Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:10

There are two ways that children appeal to their fathers and mothers for their help.

One is the way of the child who is obsessed with his own desires, who finds comfort in toys and stuffed animals and who fights to get his way with people. This child, when he asks his parents for something, has mostly his own desires or his own will as his first and primary concern. Children are notoriously unable to distinguish between the minor things and the major things of life, so a child will be terrified of a doctor’s hypodermic needle, unable to see or to understand that this procedure could save his life. He wants his “banky” and his stuffed bear or doll.

Of course, we may simply smile at such a child and patiently deal with these matters, for a child is only a child. Having his stuffed animals and toys is completely normal.

But there are some children who demonstrate a more mature understanding of life, a better way of appealing to their parents – the way of trust. Ordinarily this is the result of good and wise parents who build confidence and trust in their child. It is an attitude that the child must grow into, must mature to learn to appreciate the wisdom, love, and protection their parents offer.

Sometimes, when even young children are drawn into the world of serious illness of a long duration, they will demonstrate an incredible trust in their parents, or even the adults around them. Unable to understand why they are being poked, stuck with needles, made to drink unpleasant concoctions, and forced to live in pain, they learn to trust their parents and the doctors and nurses.

This second way represents for us the childlike faith that Christ taught us to have – the faith that trusts even when it does not understand. Often in life we are unable to sort out in our minds all of the matters before us – we confuse minor and major issues. We avoid pain and anything that threatens our weakly formed sense of self-esteem. We are majorly annoyed at minor interruptions, and think too little of the incredible opportunities that God lays before us because, somehow in our faulty reasoning, they seem beneath us.

There is a third way that children may respond to their parents – that is in abject fear. A parent may terrorize his child with violence and embed in him or her an irrational fear for going against them. I am, of course, not speaking of reasonable and responsible discipline which every child needs. Rather I mean the parent who becomes a violent bully to his child, and never brings the child into any level of reasoning at all.

Some have tried to paint God in such colors, but God does teach His children, He does tenderly lead us into knowledge and understanding. He does not terrorize us into obedience. He teaches us trust and shows us why we should trust Him. There will come times when all we can do is to trust Him, and to exercise that aspect of faith that is called living in the fear of God – but this fear is not same as what the terrorized child feels toward his angry and violent parent. The fear of God is the awesome awareness of God’s greatness, and the fear we feel when we stand in the face of His great and unconditional love for us.

One of the great differences in the mature Christian that sets him apart from the immature, is that he thinks about the will of God for others and not just his own needs. The Father wishes to lead us into this type of maturity – the one of compassion and love. Even if we are praying, “Your will be done,” it still could be that our only interest is in ourselves, that God’s will will be done for us. This is the attitude that, though it sounds right, still falls short of true maturity. True maturity of soul lets God put others on our hearts, His will on our minds, and does not just obsess about our own concerns.

The desire for the will of God to be done also leads us into the request for our daily bread, and not just my daily bread. How can I help others? How can I encourage others? Who will God put upon my heart to pray for? If God’s will will be done on this earth then, just like in heaven, His people must be compassionate and caring.

Christ said to His disciples, “I have food to eat that you know not of” (John 4:32). His “food” was to “do the will of Him who sent me” (John 4:34). This included not merely doing things, but also loving as God loved. Until our hearts truly love others, ministry will be burdensome to us, not spiritual food.

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.