By: Tim Sader
Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it. (Luke 18:17)
When we met the Cramptons we were living in an apartment building with eleven two bedroom units in it. Many families came and went through the years so I had many friends while living there. Michael and his little brother Steven we’re good friends of mine who lived in the building. We would most often play in the fenced area for kids, the field behind and beside the apartment. When there was bad weather we roamed around in the halls and stairwells or played at their house or ours. Eventually our parents became better friends and we’d have cook outs or watch ballgames together. When I was in kindergarten I met Tony who lived a couple houses down across the street. He was my first best friend, we were in the same class at the Baptist school, our parents took turns driving us to school and we hung out all the time. We went outside a lot or played in the basement at his house. Tony moved sometime after kindergarten when I switched to public school and his family moved into a bigger house. Despite our best efforts I only seen him a couple times after he moved and we lost touch. I lost my first best friend and there was nothing I could do about it. The next summer Myleah and Nate moved in on the third floor with their mom Leah. When we met their grandmother was with them, it was a hot day and I remember she bought us all a treat from the ice cream truck. Myleah and I were the same age and from day one we were almost inseparable. If we weren’t at school or sleeping we were likely hanging out somewhere. Her mom worked late so when we came home from school sometimes she was afraid to be home alone. I would inspect the apartment for hidden danger, have a snack and watch TV with her most days. After a few years my family moved out of the building but our moms became close so we remained friends. Through my earlier years she was my girl, we shared some of loves inoccent romantic moments and were the closest of friends until my family left Minnesota when I was fourteen.
Friendship seems so much easier for young children. They might meet someone in the neighborhood or at school today and be best friends tomorrow. Kids like who they like without questioning and accept one another no matter what. This is how we should accept the kingdom of heaven if we believe in God. I bring us to my childhood home so we can learn the lessons and gain sweet insight from them (Sg. 8:2). Good friends are hard to find and I’ve learned the younger we are the better quality friendships we share. I learned that the Lord is our best friend; He has been my hope and I have trusted him since I was a child (Ps. 71:5). My love for the Lord was something Myleah and I shared in common. For a while I went to church with them one night a week because I liked their childrens ministry. As children we talked, thought and reasoned as a child but when we grew up we put our childish ways to rest (1 Cor. 13:11). This verse seems to contradict having childlike faith but it is possible to grow up and still hold on to that part that believes without questioning that God is real. What we most need to do is stopping our childish thinking but keep innocent as an infant in regards to evil (1 Cor. 14:20). Children do things without much thought which may be part of why it is easier for them to make friends or believe things. It is also why they misbehave and that is the line as adults we don’t want to cross. As a child I cared greatly and learned to love others through the first friends I shared my life and my relationship with the Lord (1 Thes. 2:7-8). The love Myleah and I shared spilled over into our families; her Grandmother and my Grandpa Bob dated for the last years of his life. This gave us a better friendship then the one we already had.
Many of us are grown and set in our ways and thought patterns but we can grow up more. We can reject evil thoughts and go back to believing God like we never had a reason to doubt Him. As adults we over think some things that are simple and under think what needs our careful thought. We must learn to walk the line of innocent child like faith with enough maturity for us to stay out of trouble. Those who think too little need to think more in context to godly thought; those who over think need a simple approach with their faith.
Lord I ask that the friends I have made in my lifetime would enjoy good health, that life would treat them kindly and their soul would be fulfilled. Please help us to think like we should and to keep innocent of everything evil that tries to enter our heart or mind. May we always remember the lessons we’ve learned in our lives and relationships so that we would grow up into your image and likeness. It’s in Jesus name we pray, Amen.
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No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. Luke 8:16