My children wanted protection and guidance. They took my extended hand when it was offered.
They knew they didn't have all the answers. They were inquisitive. They wanted to be taught.
They didn't have their own provision. They came to us to be taken care of.
They didn't try to figure out their lives. They needed guidance to tell them where to go, what to do. They trusted the one who guided them.
When they were in pain, in need, in fear, afraid of the dark, they cried out. They were humble.
They weren't ashamed to come as they were to climb up my lap. They didn't question whether I wanted them near, they just came. They loved to be loved. They loved to love.
They wore no masks. They played no roles, they simply were who they were. They knew their place with me.
They believed. They trusted.
I see it so clearly now that I've lived it so wrongly. It's not just about salvation. It's about my identity. Unless I become like a child, I will never fully enter into the kingdom of Christ which now dwells in me.
At 23, I walked through the door of salvation, with the heart of a child. Immediately I began to live as an adult. I took care of myself. I didn't have a clue how to need. I leaned on my own understanding. The "shoulds" of the law captured my heart and life became about me and what I had to do to be right and pleasing to him. I began to try and sanctify myself by trying to make my "old man" better. I lived from the outside in.
I put on my masks to cover my shame. I played my roles, the ones that gave me some sense of value and fulfilled expectations. I protected myself. I trusted myself. Before I knew it I had forgotten what it looked like to enter in as a child. I quenched the very kingdom of heaven that made it's home in me, yet I didn't have a clue.
At 52 years of age, Jesus is bringing me back around. I am learning how to become a child again.
I continue to come back to this thought. Jesus said He had to leave in order for something better to come. He ascended into heaven. His Holy Spirit descended upon the earth. No longer would I have to experience Him from the outside, He would come to my inside. He would tell me who He knows me to be. He would teach me, counsel me, guide me into truth, leading me through the paths of life. After all He said He leads the blind on the unfamiliar path.
To inherit the kingdom is to live Christ in me. To live Christ in me, warrants the heart of a child that trusts out of a desire to be loved. He beckons me to come out from underneath my masks and be real before Him and others. He invites me to learn how to need again as He waits to take care of me.
Trust is the key that opens that door. Without it I will never believe. Jesus is the way, the truth, the life. He is the way that leads me into the truth that gives me life.
I'm coming back around now to where I once started. I'm learning to trust, really trust. I long to be loved. I long to give love. I have no resources of my own. I need and I need desperately. I have no role to play, no ministry to fulfill. I don't need them anymore. I am learning how to be who I am in the moments of each day with a Spirit who inhabits me.
He has made me new. I am learning what that looks like, living from the inside out with the One who knows the path of life. In this magical place I am rediscovering the kingdom of heaven, Christ in me, is the hope of glory.
©copyrighted: 2010; Julie L. Todd