The Thought for the Week this week is written by Leah Marks

by Susie Jean Sharkey


‘Unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven’ Matt 18:3

I was recently in a situation where a something of a philosophical debate was taking place. I felt slightly overwhelmed by the whole discussion and generally a bit perplexed! However drifting off to sleep that night I felt the well-known words of Christ filter through my subconscious....

‘Unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven’ Matt 18:3

They spoke peace to me and reminded me of the simplicity of faith in Christ that is all that really matters. Leaving things that are too great for me aside, there is a place of resting and if peace in Him. 
What does Jesus mean when He says that we must become like a little child? Being around children on a daily basis there are lots of aspects of childhood that I wouldn’t want to go back to! And in Jesus’ day, children had much less importance than our society places on them, so I can’t imagine many of Jesus’ listeners thought going back to being like a child was a good idea! 
I think what Jesus is talking about is very much related to the idea of the helplessness of a child. There are just so many things that a young child is utterly reliant on the adults around them for. The whole process of growing up is about becoming independent and learning to do things for ourselves but there is very little that a tiny child can actually accomplish for themselves. 
We depended on Jesus for redemption when  we were initially saved but He desires that we are dependent on Him for our whole lives. Every part of us is fallen and it’s good to remember again that it’s all about Him and the work He has done for us at Calvary. 
Even Jesus did ‘only what He saw the father do’ (John 5:19) when He was on earth. He was completely reliant on the power and direction of God in His earthly ministry. So many times we try to take things into our own hands and work things out for ourselves. But in becoming like a child, we accept that we actually can’t do things for ourselves and are wholly dependent on the continuing power of redemption in our daily lives. This is what He died for - and He wants to take the burden from us again and again. 
A poem Amy Carmichael which I have always loved sums up this thought for me: 
‘Leave it to me, Child, leave it to Me,
Dearer thy garden to me than to thee,
Lift up thy heart, Child, lift up thine eyes,
Naught can defeat Me, naught can surprise
Leave it to me, Child, leave it to me,
Let stop the burden too heavy for theeThat which I will, My Hand shall perform,
Fair are the lilies that weather the storm’