There is so much to learn from the approach that little children have to life. This weekend our twin grandchildren took their first unassisted steps. Nova our grandson took ten steps on his own and Ember our granddaughter took two. There are two very proud and happy parents and some very excited grandparents. Sadly because of lockdown we cannot go and visit them. However, we have enjoyed watching them on Facetime, and because it is a recording, we can watch it again and again. It is so lovely listening to the joy of the parents and the children themselves as they take these initial wabbly steps and then fall over. There is only clapping and words of encouragement. It does not matter that they fall over so easily with every few steps. They are lifted back up again, ready for another try.
There are so many things to celebrate in a child’s life as they go through the development stages. The first breath, the first words (usually dad-da and mama) the first teeth, the first time they crawl, the first steps they take on their own, the first time they ride a bike unaided. I know some adults that still cannot do that.
It is the same in our walk with God. The first steps we take are accompanied by so much joy and celebration. Looking back, can you remember when you first responded to Jesus, asked for your sins to be forgiven, when he came into your life? Do you remember taking the step of baptism? Then there was being filled with the Spirit and beginning to speak in tongues for the first time. Do you remember the first time you invited someone to a church meeting, and they became a believer? Have you had the pleasure of leading some in the steps to becoming a Christian? Do you remember the first time you prayed out aloud in a group or prophesied for the first time? I guess like me, you will remember that there was so much joy and celebration surrounding those steps you took.
Is there still joy after you have been a Christian for a good long time and have done most of these firsts? Its more difficult to feel excited now that we have passed these milestones.. A young lady visited my bike workshop after coming off her bike and damaging the base of her back and the bike of course. I had the bike in for repair but wanted to see her healed and repaired too. I described what I did as a pastor and what we often do at the end of a service when people needed healing. I then offered to get a chair and pray for her. She was pleased that someone was concerned for her and was willing to have a go. I sat her down, held the end of her shoes and prayed for God to heal her. She saw what was happening and was very appreciative of the concern that had been showed. I have seen her since, and her back is slowly improving. I am trying to step out. The other day I had a go at inviting one of the friends I cycle with each week to a Men’s Big Takeaway night in. This is a special evening organised by Christian Vision for Men. He actually cannot be at it because he is travelling, but he did show real interest. When the next suitable men’s event comes up, I will try again.
Do you need to take some new childlike first steps? It may be to get baptised or to asked to be filled with the Holy Spirit or to start speaking in tongues. You might not have prayed out in a group recently. You have to get used to the technology and unmute yourself before you speak, but once you have had a few attempts, it is quite simple. Or like me do you need to take the courageous step to invite un-churched people to one of the suitable online events that we or others are putting on? In the near future we will be putting on a few short family friendly services that involve craft and including the children. Taking steps to pray for this, offering our ideas, being involved on the day and inviting some families that we may know will contribute. We all need to be involved in those Kingdom of God childlike steps.