"Let the children come to Me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I assure you, anyone who doesn't have their kind of faith will never get into the Kingdom of God."
- Mark 10:14-15 NLT
I can still remember when the Lord began teaching me years ago about the blessed rewards of having childlike faith. My husband had just lost out on a job that he desperately wanted. When I saw how deeply disappointed he was, I suggested that we ask the Lord to provide another position just like it. To say the least, he wasn't very receptive to my idea. He shot back with comments like, "That was the only job of its kind in that company!" and, "You know nothing about the business world!" I couldn't exactly argue with him. I didn't know much about my husband's line of work, the company he had interviewed with, or the business world, in general. I had been a stay-at-home mom for almost two decades, and I knew very little about "Corporate America." But I knew my God, and I believed that He was always eager to get involved with the little details of our lives whenever we invited Him to. So I began to earnestly pray that the Lord would open up a new door of opportunity for my husband that would not only radically bless him, but that would help him to see our God in fresh, new ways. The Lord did provide an identical job for Joe, and no one was more surprised than he was.
As much as my husband enjoyed his new job, he was very unhappy with his new office. He had always had offices that were bright, cheery, and roomy, and this one was dark, dreary, and cramped. Not only that, but he had to share it with a coworker he was not fond of. When I suggested to Joe that we pray for the Lord to provide him with a new office of his own that would exceed his highest expectations, he said things like, "That's not going to happen! We just had a budget meeting, and there is no money available for anything extra. Besides that, they'd have to make major renovations to our building, and there's no way they would do that now!" I had no doubt that everything my husband said was true, but I couldn't help thinking about the Bible verse that says, "You have not, because you ask not," and I was determined to ask. (James 4:2) Shortly after I began praying for my husband's new office, Joe came home from work one day, and described to me how his company was making major renovations to his building. In wide-eyed amazement, he told me that he was getting a new office that was more than twice the size of his old one, and he wouldn't have to share it with anyone else. Best of all, it would always have plenty of light, because an entire wall would be windows!
Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." (Mark 10:15 NIV) Not only is childlike faith required for us to enter God's kingdom, but it is also necessary for us to receive many of the blessings the Lord longs to bestow on us in this life. For many years, I was a doubtful, skeptical, and cynical Christian, so I can relate to believers who have a hard time believing in the goodness of God. But I can also relate to believers who have entered into such a deeply personal relationship with the Lord, that they have a greater understanding of how eager He is to bless His people. What made the difference? I got to know the true character of God, as revealed in His written Word, the Bible. Spend enough time in the Scriptures, and I guarantee that your faith will grow, and you'll have more confidence to ask the Lord for blessings of every shape and size.
I have learned that the Lord is moved by our faith, even on behalf of others. One example of this is in Matthew 9:2, where Jesus heals a paralytic in response to the faith of the man's friends. It's true that my husband didn't have the faith to ask for his own blessings. But it's also true that when he witnessed the Lord's answer to my prayers, it strengthened his faith for the future. What rewards, promotions, and blessings might you be missing out on because you've neglected to ask for them? May the Savior's loving invitation give you a holy nudge today--"Ask, using My name, and you will receive, and your cup of joy will overflow"! (John 16:24 TLB)
Prayer: Lord, please forgive me for my lack of faith, my doubts, and my cynicism. Give me the heart and the faith of a child, and help me to believe You for all the good things You desire to give me. Thank You that Your answers to my prayers will be a powerful testimony to others of Your love and grace!
- J. M. Farro