Robin Gudal: Aspiring toward childlike faith

Published 8:00 pm Friday, February 2, 2024

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EN(dur)ANCE by Robin Gudal

Imagine a sweet little blond girl with tousled hair from a hard day of playing sitting at a wooden dining room table. Her body much too small for the large chair, head bowed, and hands folded.

Robin Gudal

“Jesus, pray Nana. Her tummy, feel better, heal her body, love Nana and Papa, puppies, horsey, and Jesus. Amen.”

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Just weeks after this prayer Greggy and I had the privilege to babysit this little 2.5-year-old and her sister, two of our ten “grands.”

Several observations: there is a reason 60-year-olds don’t have littles and this Nana got real tired! I so appreciate and admire young families!

The 2.5-year-old is very sensitive to Jesus (great job mommy and daddy) and likes to pray! Meals, bedtime, when she is concerned about something or thinks someone is hurting. Once while visiting I had a swallowing issue, which scared her. I suggested she pray for Nana, her hands folded immediately.

In Matthew 18 Jesus says that we must “become as little children” in order to enter the kingdom of God. The context of Jesus’ statement is the disciples’ question, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” — Matthew 18:1, NIV

In response, Jesus “Called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 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 18:2-5, NIV

As the disciples focus on what constitutes “greatness” in heaven, Jesus provides a new perspective: the way “up” is “down.” According to Matthew 5:5, meekness is required.

“Jesus exhorts the disciples (and us) to seek to possess a childlike modesty in addition to their faith. Those who willingly take the lowest position are the greatest in heaven’s eyes. A young child is destitute of ambition, pride, and haughtiness and is therefore a good example for us. Children are characteristically humble and teachable.” —

Often in life we aspire to be like someone we admire and respect, mostly because of their accomplishments. I however, yearn to be like my granddaughter ­— simple, uncomplicated, trusting, with innocent child-like faith.

“But godliness with contentment is great gain.” — 1 Timothy 6:6, NIV

Robin (Beckman) Gudal is intentional in life, a wife, momma, nana, friend, and a flawed and imperfect follower of Jesus.