A quiet disposition and a heart giving thanks at any given moment
is the real test of the extent to which we love God at that moment.
Francis Schaeffer, True Spirituality
The children's pastor of a local church recently saw a little three year-old girl in Sunday School quietly eating a cookie during snack time. As he passed by he said to her, "Hi, Lindsay, how are you doing?" Lindsay looked up and responded, "My daddy's favorite color is purple." The pastor, who has a three year-old of his own, realized the answers from kids that age do not always match up with the questions asked. But, he could not get Lindsay's response off his mind. Her daddy's favorite color is purple. Lindsay's thoughts, as she munched her cookie, were not on herself. Her mind was on what her daddy liked.
It is no wonder Jesus said that unless we become like little children we cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 18:3). Three year-olds are relatively uncomplicated and simple. They are humble and not yet tangled up in the barbed wire of pretense and pride. Whenever Jesus showed up in town, the demons fled from him in hellish dread while the little children flocked to him in heavenly delight. The haughty saw him as a roaring Lion they couldn't get away from, and the humble saw him as a gentle Lamb they couldn't get enough of. I can easily picture Jesus with a giggling child cradled in each elbow, their chubby little arms wrapped around his neck, and a glorious grin on his face as he bathed in the innocence of their intentions toward him.
In heart breaking contrast, most of this world is drowning in a cesspool of selfishness. In grammar school we learned the sing-song jingle, "I before E except after C". Today the twisted rhyme seems to be "I before Thee except after me."
How many Christians can honestly echo King David's hungry and holy cry, "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer" (Psalm 19:14). Like Lindsay eating her cookie, David's mind was on his father's heart. And David's heart was on his father's mind, too.
When Jesus left the footprints of God on this earth, nearly everyone selfishly wanted something from him. The devil wanted Jesus to bow down and worship him. The zealots wanted him to become king, the indifferent wanted him to just go away and the pharisees wanted him dead. Herod wanted him to speak up and the chief priests wanted him to shut up. The Jews wanted him to dazzle them with miracles, the Greeks wanted him to tickle their ears with the latest slick-tongued wisdom and the crowds wanted him to keep serving up free lunches.
But the poor in spirit, the humble and the little children simply wanted him. As they munched their cookies of life, their minds were set on the interests of Jesus and their spiritual bellies growled with hunger to know him better. And those earthly strangers, Jesus promised, would inherit the Kingdom of God where they would want nothing forever. The irony is that those who greedily grab for it all end up with nothing but eternal damnation, while those who hunger for Jesus alone possess the whole Kingdom of God. That's the way the eternal cookie crumbles.
"My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work" (John 4:34). He knew his Father's favorite color very well and he was divinely jealous for his Father's glory and pleasure. Jesus was obsessed with his Father's will, possessed by his Father's Spirit, and impressed only with whatever glorified God. He was, as southern country folks used to say, "eat up with" love for his father. That was his very food, the stuff that kept him going.
What are you thinking about when you eat your cookies? What do you want from Jesus? May God grant us a hungry, humble and childlike heart and mind like Lindsay's--lost in her love for her daddy.
By the way, I think I know my Heavenly Father's favorite color. Blood red.
O Jesus, increase my passion to know you and grant me an insatiable hunger for your will and your Word. Root out the weeds of selfishness and sin that threaten to devour my deceitful heart. Deliver me from myself and possess me wholly for your own pleasure. Consume my heart with your love, control my mind by your Spirit, and complete your work in my life for your honor and glory. Have your way with me, dear Lord, in spite of myself. May I lose myself in you and be found worshipping at your feet. Make me, O Father, according to your heart. Amen.
© Chip Kirk