I've often heard, and taken part in, conversations extolling the importance of "spiritual maturity". That place of stronger connection to God and a deeper understanding of his Word, his nature, and his plans. I've been profoundly blessed by my own meager steps in this process over the years, and I have great respect for those whose incredible faith and wisdom stands as an example for me. Sometimes, however, I think I make it all just a little too hard. I lament my lack of focus, my inferior Biblical knowledge, my infrequent prayers. I find myself succumbing to fearful thoughts and wonder what I must do in order to build up my seemingly "immature" faith. And then, I notice my daughter...
I watch her bow her head in prayer at the dinner table, while her father and I are still filling our plates in the kitchen, and I know that had we not heard her sweet voice thanking Jesus for her food, we would have likely forgotten to thank him ourselves.
I hear the confidence in her voice as she inspects a troublesome new "owie" on her knee, and then assures herself that "God will help" it to heal.
I listen as she struggles through a tearful disappointment and stops mid-wail to implore me, "Let's pray, Mama", only to assure me a few minutes later as the tears dry, "I feeling better now. God helped Maya."
She's two. Two. Hardly enough time to have developed a spiritual maturity. I'd like to say that my husband and I could take the credit for the sweet expressions of faith that come out of this child, I simply can't. Our conversations with her and examples for her fall far short of explaining the connection she has with her Creator. We've certainly never modeled the cheer that she often gives after a declaration that God has helped her..."Yay God!" isn't how I'd ever think to offer praise. It's far too immature, right? Lacks substance?
There's something inherent, something so amazingly simple about her faith that serves as a stunning example to me. That is what I want! I want to turn to my God in every circumstance, with total confidence that my owies will be healed. I want to reach out to him in my dark times of despair, when it's so much easier to wallow in self-pity. I want to turn to those around me during those moments and say, "Let's pray", without my pride or shame holding me back. I want to remember when I emerge from those valleys and realize that "I feel better now" that HE deserves the glory, and not be afraid to make it known that "God helped me". And I want to give my praise, however simple and inarticulate it may be. Because I know that my God rejoices with every "Yay God!" I offer him.
I want to grow daily in my walk with God. I desire spiritual maturity. But what I really long for, what I really need, is faith like my daughter's. I pray she never loses it in pursuit of what a mature spiritual life "should" look like. And I thank the Author of life that he's teaching me more about him each day of Maya's life even as I attempt to teach her the same.