There was a time when my boys were small that everything was either sticky or covered in dirt from the backyard. They were busy boys, always taking things apart. Food was permanently encrusted under their high chairs. It seemed as if some one was always throwing up or something was leaking out of a diaper. For quite a few years, I was permanently sleepy. Sometimes I felt like giving up. One thing kept me going: their love. They would come running to me on their chubby little legs, with their chubby little arms wide open. They didn’t know that I was tired of the mess. They didn’t know that I only turned the TV on so I could take a nap. They didn’t know that I second guessed my decision to stay home with them. They only knew that I was their mother and I loved them. That was enough for them. They whole heartedly trusted me.
In the gospel of Mark 10:13-16, the author tells us a story about little children being brought to Jesus. The disciples must have seen all those dirty faces, sticky hands, and runny noses. They must have thought that Jesus didn’t want to waste his time on those little mess makers. Jesus has more important matters, they reasoned. So, they turned the children away.
The Bible tells us that when Jesus saw what his disciples were doing, he was indignant. He didn’t see the dirty faces, the sticky hands, or the runny noses. He saw those chubby arms reaching out to him. He saw those chubby legs running to him. He saw what the disciples had missed: their hearts. The children knew that Jesus loved him. That was enough for them. They whole heartedly trusted him.
“Jesus tells the disciples, ‘Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’ And he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on them and blessed them.” (Mark 10:13-16, NIV)
We are to receive the kingdom of heaven like a little child. We are to run to Jesus, with our arms open wide, trusting that he will lift us up in his arms and bless us.