The Faith of a Four-Year-Old

Devotionals from Leslie Ludy and the Set Apart Girl Team

The Faith of a Four-Year-Old

by Leslie Ludy | May 1, 2013

Jesus said, “Unless you humble yourself and become like a little child, you shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matt. 18:3-4). How easy it is for us adults to over-complicate our faith! When it comes to believing God is as big as He says He is, we often analyze our emotions or assess our past experiences to decide whether we truly agree with such a grandiose idea. Children are much more simple in their understanding of God. All they need to hear is that God is big and that He cares about them, and they believe it without question. My four-year-old, Kipling, was preaching an inspiring sermon to his siblings in the car the other night, and I found myself strangely moved and convicted by the simplicity of his child-like faith.  “God is big,” he told them adamantly, “Bigger than anything else in the whole world! And even if a big bad guy has you trapped, God will defeat him! If you know Jesus, all you have to do is pray and God will help you!” Then he asked me, “That’s what the Bible says, right Mama?” And I had to agree. “Yes, that is what the Bible says, buddy! You are 100% right.” (His theology on this principle is better than many seasoned Christians I know!)

To Kip, there is really nothing complicated about trusting God. Ask, and God will answer. Cry to Him for help, and He will deliver you. The Bible says it, therefore, it is true. That is childlike faith.   

Even those of us who believe in the inherency of Scripture can sometimes get a little squeamish to trust God at that level of simplicity.  When I’m asking God for something big, it’s all too easy for me to think about the “what if’s”… What if God doesn’t want to answer this prayer?  What if He doesn’t come through? What if this or that happens instead…? But a little child doesn’t think that way. He doesn’t question God. He just knows that God is big and cares about him, and that’s all that really matters!

Each night, Kipling sleeps with a picture of Jesus comforting a little boy. It’s taped to his window, right above his bed. It reminds him that Jesus is always with him, and Jesus will protect him from anything and everything that might try to scare or harm him. Whenever he starts to worry about having a bad dream, or “bad guys” breaking into our house in the night, I tell him, “Remember, Jesus is protecting you!” And as soon as I say it, Kip grins and says, “Oh, that’s right. And Jesus is bigger than everything!” And then he quickly falls asleep, knowing that he’s safe in his Shepherd’s arms. What a beautifully simple and truly astounding faith.

So lately, I have been asking God to grant me Kip’s childlike faith.  To clear away all complicated, confusing thoughts of “what if…?” and “but what about…?” and just trust Him with an undivided, undistracted heart. Because as Psalm 37 reminds us, “fretting only causes harm.” But those who trust Him will be delivered – not sometimes, but always. It’s really just that simple. Lord, give us all the faith of a four-year-old!

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