I AM A CHILD OF GOD
How often do we hear this phrase? How often do we sing this phrase during worship? How often do we actually stop and think about what this means? A child of God. To even have the chance to be in relationship with The Lord is pretty amazing, but to be labeled as a child of the one true King, to have the opportunity to be a child of God is a weighty blessing that we probably don’t spend enough time wrapping our minds around. A child of God is more than a song lyric. A child of God is more than sitting in a pew on Sunday. While we are growing through this transitional season of life, trying to be adults, let’s break down this title and dive into what it means to live like the child God wants us to be.
Remember when you were a child? If you don’t, just ask your mother for some footage from your old VHS’s. It will give you a good laugh, and you can thank me later. In the meantime….here’s a brief refresher on children.
They can be tiring. They can be needy. They can be messy. But one thing that I love about children (most of the time) is that they can be emotional. Yes, I said it. Children can be emotional (refer back to VHS footage from Mom) and that’s a beautiful thing. As adults, we learn what it means to have a filter. We understand social etiquette, become professionals at masking our emotions, and know how to put on the image of “I am good, life is good, it’s all good” even when it’s not. When do we ever see children doing that? When was the last time that a six-year old got picked on at school, scraped their knee at the playground, and came home telling their parents that they had a great day? Never. NEWS FLASH. KIDS TELL IT LIKE IT IS. They feel every emotion with no inhibition. They experience the highest highs and the lowest lows with no apology for feeling the way they feel. Children don’t have this “filter” that we gain as an adult.
Children are masters at needing help. Children need help with virtually everything. They wake up in the morning with the expectation that their parents will be there. When they go to bed at night, they need to be rocked, sung to, tucked in, and kissed on the forehead. Throughout the day, they look to their parents to help them put straws in their juiceboxes, wipe their tears, and simply hold them and listen to them talk about their day. There’s a reason that we grow up with families until we are old enough to go to college; children cannot survive without help.
Another classic child-like characteristic…the way the trust. Especially, the way they trust their parents. When I was growing up, my dad bought a Porsche. It was a white, convertible, sporty little thing and he told me it was Joey Fatone’s. For anyone who doesn’t know, Joey Fatone was one of the members of N’SYNC. (Insert shameful, monkey covering eyes emoji to reflect how I feel about aging myself) The 90’s was the era of Hit Clips, LTD2, Lipsmackers, and boy bands. N’SYNC was my first boy band, big girl concert, and to say I was in love with them was an understatement. Naturally, when my dad told me that his new car came from one of the faces of N’SYNC, I about died. I told all my friends that my dad bought Joey’s car! I remember my mom trying to bring me back to reality, after realizing that I was sharing the news about my dad’s recent investment with the entire elementary school. “Daddy was just joking honey, he’s kidding with you…” Naturally, in my child-like certainty, I assured my mother she was wrong. “No mom, he’s SERIOUS! That’s Joey’s car mom!” Obviously as I got older, I came to terms with the fact that my dad did not own Joey Fatone’s car, but the way I believed him in that moment, I had no doubt. I had no doubt. That’s the thing about children, they believe their parents. They believe the people they love and respect. They trust what you tell them without a shadow of a doubt, because they have this beautifully pure innocence about them. Children believe in a way that adults can’t.
So what does all this say about us being children of God? It says a lot. It means that as a child, we are not obligated to put up a guard or maintain a facade that things are okay when they aren’t. We are not only allowed, but encouraged to feel every emotion, every laugh, every tear, everything without guilt. It means we can ask for help. In our child-like faith, God wants us to look to him as our Father, and let Him walk hand-in-hand with us during the day. He doesn’t look down on us for being weak, but is overjoyed that we can lean on him to help us through the bad days, share in our happiness on the good days, and love on us every day. It means we can trust. Unapologetically, without abandon, we are able to channel our inner-child and shamelessly trust our Father. We can be angry with him, He loves us. We can love him, He loves us. We can cling to him, He loves us. We can pull away, He loves us. We can doubt Him, He loves us. We can trust Him, He loves us.
Being a child of God is more than just a way to describe the body of Christ. It is a blessing, a freedom that we could never win on our own. It is a demonstration of His unconditional, agape love to a people that may age gracefully, but all have a portion of their child heart that never truly grows up. Instead of trying to pretend like we have it all together, let’s do the complete opposite. Let’s break down some walls and come to our Father as the vulnerable, emotional, fragile beings that we are.
We have been chosen. We are protected. We are children of God.