My son talks a LOT about heaven these days.
His bedtime prayers sound like, "Dear God, can we go to heaven this weekend?" and our conversations in the van include, "Mom, heaven is so high! How will I ever get there?"
I'm soaking it all up. I'm taking in the wide-eyed wonder, amazed at the scope of his persistent questions, and replying the best I know how:
"We might get to go to heaven today if Jesus is ready! He's preparing a place for us, like Daddy prepares your room and gets your bed made, and He'll come get us when it's all set and done."
Or "It is so high! We can't get there on our own! But Jesus will help us. He's the only way we can get there."
And with all of these heavenly thoughts and kingdom-minded questions fired at me from my 3-year-old, a line from the Lord's prayer comes to life, drawn deep in the back of my mind, rising to the forefront: "May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10)
My son's eagerness for heaven seems to line up with Jesus' plea, doesn't it? When Oscar's asking if God can come now, and he's declaring in his innocence, "Hey, I'm ready! Whenever you are! Please come soon!" I'm feeling a deep-set conviction in my own spirit. Have I ever been this eager for God's Kingdom to come? Do I fix my eyes on what's above and eternal literally everyday like my son? Am I praying for Jesus to return soon? That His kingdom would come today?
Or have I grown complacent in this world? Longing not for heaven and Jesus' reign, but for a new set of clothes, a large following on social media, a prestigious job and an impressive house brimming with farmhouse décor?
Am I living my days for myself, my own purposes and my own plans? Or is my life a living sacrifice to the God who gave everything for me and to me?
As adults, we intrinsically know it's our role to teach and guide young children. And while that is altogether true, may we also never puff up our pride so much as to believe that we don't have anything to learn from these littles in return.
Jesus' own disciples made that mistake. Families all over were bringing their babies and kids to Jesus—just so He would lay His hands on them. They saw His power, were drawn to His tender-loving care, and they wanted the extension of their hearts to know, see, and love Him too.
But when they got there, the disciples brushed them off and whisked them away. Without batting an eye or even consulting Jesus, they acted as calloused bodyguards and waved them away. Surely, the Son of God has better things to do with His time; more important people to see and more deep matters to discuss.
But Jesus saw them, called to them, and made His point very clear to all listening and watching: "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children."
God's Kingdom belongs to boys like Oscar, and Jesus opens His embrace to girls like Mabel. And instead of the adults on the scene being the all-knowing teachers, they were the ones being taught a lesson or two by these babies and toddlers.
And what a reminder and lesson to us all. Our Savior values every single person—whether they're young or old, single or married, difficult or easy, and long-time Christian or new believer. Regardless of the skin we come in, Jesus wants nothing more than for His children to run into His embrace, believing in Him and His promises undoubtedly, and setting aside the day's agenda to simply bask in His presence.
Like children, may we fuel our wide-eyed wonder, soften any callouses in our hearts and join hands with all believers to pray for God's Kingdom to come soon. Truly and powerfully, may His will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.