This has been an exciting week for our family! Our youngest son, Jack, turned 12 years old and we had a party! Jack and I traveled to celebrate with his 20-year-old brother at Camp Pendleton, near Oceanside, California, after he completed a year of non-stop training and graduated from the USMC’s toughest training program. We have been blessed with some diligent sons!
As Jack and I traveled together, I was so grateful to be part of this adventure with him. Because of his youth, he is wide-eyed and eager to explore wherever we travel. He is untarnished by decades of disappointment and struggle and is willing to try new things, to see new places and experience new people!
Brenden and Tana Harrison, two recent volunteers at Hope Haven Rwanda, experienced a similar type of eager expectation in the lives of our students. During their visit, we spent a lot of time talking about faith. Tana said, “Being here at Hope Haven has really just given us a new set of eyes.” During our video interview, she continued by reminding us all that Jesus encouraged his followers to “have child-like faith, and I think we’ve kinda’ forgotten what that looks like.”
Tana then read a portion of Matthew 18, where Matthew recorded Jesus’ words: “At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 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.And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me” (Matthew 18:1-5).
This type of child-like, faith-filled perspective reminded me of an acronym that Corrie ten Boom used after spending years in a Nazi concentration camp. Did you catch that? She survived a Nazi death camp. In 1944, the ten Boom family and other people in their home, about 30 in all, were arrested. Months later, Corrie literally watched her sister, Betsie, die. She also lost most of her other family members, including her father, Casper ten Boom, who died ten days after being captured.
In spite of this extreme personal suffering, Corrie’s faith was ultimately deepened. In fact, one of my favorite quotes from her demonstrates her deep faith. Corrie used an acronym for F.A.I.T.H. which she said means, “Faith is the fantastic adventure in trusting him.” What does it mean to have “faith as a child?” It means we are willing to trust that God is still in control even when we can’t see Him working. It means that we rest in His embrace, knowing that He is our loving Heavenly Father and He’s “got the whole world in His hands.”