The Praise of Children

“Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger” (Psalm 8:2, NIV).

Psalm 8 declares the majesty of the Lord’s name throughout all the earth. God has done marvelous things in Creation. Look at a sunset, gaze at a starry night, and tell me you aren’t moved by the glory of God! Not only that but when we see the immensity of God’s Universe and consider the vast power that is His, we realize our humble estate. What a great honor and privilege that the Creator would be mindful of us! He is worthy of our worship.

When I read verse 2, I couldn’t help but think of Jesus’s words in Matthew 18:3. “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Kids are so amazed by simple things we take for granted. They find wonder in little things we don’t even notice anymore. My son, Elliot, is fascinated by bugs. He loves to go outside and dig for worms and catch ladybugs. Watching them flit around in a jar brings him so much delight. When was the last time I was delighted by the things God has made for us to enjoy, even the simple things?

We get so busy with work and family obligations, so burdened by the cares and anxieties of life, that we sometimes forget that the praise of God is our stronghold in a chaotic world. The Lord is our Rock who doesn’t move among the shifting sands of society. Worship is the bedrock of our lives, and when we have the attitude of a child–amazed and delighted and filled with wonder by the beauty and majesty of our God–then we will find our footing sure and our hearts light.

My prayer for us this week is that we will be delighted by God and respond with praise.

Whatever It Takes

He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. (Luke 19:3-4, NIV)

When I was a kid, I used to love climbing trees, and although it seemed at the time that I was climbing high enough to touch the clouds, I probably never actually climbed much higher than the roof of a one-story house.  In 2012, I went on a mission trip to Brazil to build a church building in a jungle village on the Amazon River.  The kids in the village put my tree-climbing skills to shame, easily climbing 30-40 ft or higher in some of the trees!

Climbing trees is not something you typically see an adult do, yet this is exactly what Zacchaeus did so he could see Jesus.  No doubt some onlookers thought Zacchaeus was acting foolish or that he was being childish.  But Zacchaeus didn’t care.  He was willing to do whatever it took to see Jesus.  He wasn’t worried about how others would judge him or what they might say about him later.  His focus was on seeing Jesus, and that’s just what happened.

Sometimes I wonder how willing I am to do whatever it takes to encounter the Lord.  Am I willing to have a childlike faith?  To act foolish (in the eyes of the world)?  Would I climb a tree to see Jesus (yes, like Zacchaeus, I’d probably have trouble seeing over the crowd and need to climb a tree)?  Would I read my Bible in the break room, even though my co-workers can see what I’m reading?  Would I be willing to talk to my neighbor about Jesus, even though they might think I’m a Bible thumper?  Would I pray for a meal at a restaurant?

We can find Jesus everywhere if we are willing to look for Him and climb the occasional tree to get a glimpse of the Lord.  My prayer for us this week is that we will be less concerned about what others think and be willing to look for the Lord even if it means stepping out of our comfort zones.

In Christ,
Pastor Andy