Matthew 18:2-4 NIV "He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."
God changed and became a little child. He took on the lowly position of the baby, Jesus - born in a manger. He chose Mary to be His mother. He went from having it all, to having nothing. But what was the one thing he made certain He would have here on earth?
The world may have hated Him, but Jesus had earthly parents and a Father in Heaven who loved Him. He found friends who loved Him. Love, after all, was the reason He came.
He came and experienced it ALL. Every hardship you could name; He felt it. He put himself, willingly, through pain and torment so he could relate to us, so He could show us love.
Experiencing difficult situations gives us an empathy for others who have similar hardships. I've felt the ache of what it takes to rebuild after a spouse dies, thus have developed a compassion and understanding for those who must also weather that storm. I have spent the majority of my life and career standing guard over the vulnerable. I've walked the road of palliative care for a child's incurable illness. I know what it feels like to buy life's time in hopes for medical advancements and miraculous interventions. This gives me a warm sense of protection over others who face the same. BUT, I've also experienced the comfort of God's love, the undeniable intervention of his perfect touch - the miracle that is HIM. These experiences develop relationships and healthy relationships develop people.
Jesus came to have a relationship with us. He doesn't force us to do what he wants, but he does tell us the way we should go. He knows what's best and wants us to choose it. He doesn't want us to develop a love of self or money. He wants us to develop a love for Him and through that relationship with Him, we can learn and know how best to love others.
1 Corinthians 13:1-7 NIV "If I speak in the tongue of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."
Jesus came. He went through all of it for us. He went through all of it for love.
Then why must we lower ourselves to the place of a child? Because it is there, we find innocence. It is there, we let go of pride. It is there, we can allow God to do his job and remain in control. It is there, we are vulnerable. It is there, we can trust and believe in faith the wonder and majesty that is our Lord. It is there, our love is pure.
Lord, I pray we take our place as your children, knowing you are in control, that you love us and know what is best. I am so thankful that even when no one on this planet may be able to understand something we may be experiencing, you, Lord, understand. Thank you for your love, Lord.
In Jesus' name,