I’ve been thinking a bit about Jesus’ instruction to us to have faith like a child. All my growing years, I understood that to be blind faith, believing everything – without question.
Kids will believe just about anything. I tell my daughter that Mr. Moon is happy today because the crescent moon looks like a smile. And why shouldn’t I? She soaks the story in, and waves gorgeously at the moon, who in return smiles back at her adoringly. When she’s a tiny bit older, I’ll undoubtedly tell her that Mr. Moon is actually a great big Cheshire Cat, grinning widely at the whole world. And why shouldn’t I? There is enough time later on in her life to face realism and learn to balance her beautiful imagination with cold hard facts.
So this is what I see as “blind faith”. But as I grow older, I cannot help but asking questions. Inevitably, some questions are hard, and on the exterior, they look like doubt, or lack of faith. Why do babies die? Why are terrorists allowed to operate in the world? Why does drug, sex and alcohol addiction even exist? Why are puppies homeless and why do kittens get run over in the street? Why don’t we hear God’s audible voice anymore, the way they did in the Old Testament?
It’s not that I don’t believe what Jesus says, or what the Almighty can do. It’s just that I want to know Him more. And part of that is asking Him questions about His creation, the laws of life that He’s put in place, Who He is, and what He wants from me as I walk this path.
Am I wrong for asking questions? Am I deviating from Christ’s call for child-like faith, the seemingly blind faith that questions nothing?
I had a thought about it as I listened to a song recently, called ‘Wonder’, by Bethel Music. The lyrics are fairly simple:
“May we never lose our wonder; wide-eyed and mystified, may we be just like a child – staring at the beauty of the King.”
It occurred to me… children ask questions all the time. They question everything, they want to know everything, they absorb everything. In essence, they look at the world through eyes of wonder. So why the guilt and condemnation about child-like faith being akin to blind, unquestioning faith? What’s with all the fear of asking questions too publicly, lest we be accused of being “faithless”?
So what is child-like-ness?
It is awe and marvelling. It is embracing a sense of wide-eyed reverence when looking at God and His Creation and His words and what He has done for us. It is never becoming so “mature” and grown-up that you stop being impressed by God’s miracles, His astounding movements. It is neither becoming so self-righteous and “wise” that you feel that you no longer need to ask questions, nor being so timid and afraid that you never dare ask questions.
It is asking those questions freely – the marvellous ones and the hard ones – with a sense of wonder and desire and raw, honest pain, with a longing to know more about Him and His ways. Child-like faith is pure and full of “wow’s”; it is un-arrogant, un-assuming and wide open to the limitless possibilities of God. And it shamelessly asks questions to uncover those possibilities.
So yes, it is a blind faith, the all-believing kind… But with the new eyes of a child who is ever-searching and ever-questioning, always staring at the beauty of the King, and never losing the wide-eyed awe of His mysteries.
Don’t be afraid of Him. Ask. Search. Dig deeper.
He wants you to.
“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord.
~Jeremiah 29 vs 12