Picking out just the right gift for a child can be challenging. Sometimes it’s rewarding, and sometimes not so much.
I recently visited a friend who was babysitting her granddaughter for the day. On my way, I thought it would be nice to stop to get something special for the four-year-old.
When shopping for a child, I try to think like a child, but this felt a bit more complicated. I wasn’t sure I knew what a little girl might want. Finally, I decided that any toy that stimulates a young mind and helps it grow would be appropriate.
I strolled through Walmart’s toy section, almost dizzy from the endless variety and choices. The toys were arranged in sections by age group: puzzles, Play-Doh, dolls, action figures, dart guns…on and on they went. I walked up and down the aisles until I’d finally picked out a few things I thought she might like. Satisfied with my selections, I hurried off to visit my friend and deliver the gifts.
Things went well initially, and the young missy seemed to like what I got her. Watching her piece together the wooden puzzles and draw the animals on the art pad was a real treat. She enjoyed blowing some bubbles and turning Play-Doh into a flower for me. But soon, she turned to me and asked, “What else did you bring me?”
Some might think that was a presumptuous or even rude question, but I saw her as Jesus must see us.
Interestingly, Jesus tells us to posture our hearts like a child to receive His gifts.
In Mark 10:13–16, we see some children who approached Jesus, looking for His attention. The disciples, however, tried to shoo the children away. Hmm. I wonder if they thought maybe the children were being presumptuous or rude.
But how did Jesus react? He welcomed them with open arms—the same way He receives us. Jesus rebuked the disciples, saying, “Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Mark 10:15 NIV).
He wants us to come to Him with open arms and open hearts.
God offers us the most incredible gifts anyone could hope for, and according to James 1:17, they are good and perfect. Jesus gives us forgiveness for our sins, redemption, unconditional love, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and so much more. But to receive His gifts, we must have a child’s attitude. We must be trusting, meek, curious, and have a never-ending appetite for more.
“Come to me,” Jesus says. “I have much to show and give you!”
Children don’t feel powerful, perfectly righteous, or self-sufficient like most adults do. They realize their need for protection and provision. They aren’t afraid to ask questions and eagerly accept what is being given.
And that’s how we should be. We must shed the cloaks of self-sufficiency that arise from our life experiences. God wants us to realize our need for His gifts. He invites us to come to Him so He can touch and bless us.
May God give us the never-ceasing energy and curiosity of a child in our relationship with Jesus. May we search constantly for new and exciting things to satisfy our hunger to know Him more. When we come to Him with that childlike attitude, He’ll continue to offer gifts that will stimulate our spiritual growth.
So go ahead—embrace the beautiful blessings your heavenly Father has in store for you. Don’t be afraid to ask Him, “Lord, what else do You have for me?”
Kenny Munds takes the good news of God’s love and forgiveness into prisons across America. To learn more about his ministry, go to kennymundsministry.org.