Child-like Anticipation: April 18, 2017 – Post 6
This is the final blog post of my Lenten series! And for this final post, I’d like to share with you something that God has been trying (relentlessly) to teach me throughout these past 40 days…
It’s this idea of approaching Him with child-like anticipation.
I mentioned in a previous blog that I believe God desires us to ask big things of Him, and that He desires to satisfy the yearnings of our hearts. But recently, I have found it difficult to approach Him with some of my requests, whether it be because I fear His answer, or because I doubt He will satisfy it. And these are the times that He tries to teach me this lesson, about becoming like a child.
One time, while sitting in adoration, I started to imagine Jesus as a young child might. I imagined Jesus speaking to me as a little girl, and that little girl excitedly, and without hesitation, telling all her friends and family what Jesus said to her. And I imagined her waiting, with great anticipation, for Jesus to speak to her again, day after day. And because of her belief and her great excitement and anticipation of our Lord, He spoke to her, day after day. And the little girl had a beautiful love and trust in Jesus.
Upon leaving the adoration chapel, I quickly chalked these thoughts up to being a consequence of my wandering mind at a time when I was meant to be praying. But sure enough, a couple days later, another variation of a similar encounter between a young girl and Jesus played through my imagination again. Again and again, Jesus pushed these images into my mind, hoping I would eventually grasp the idea that there is a lesson to be learned here.
God desires me to be like that little girl.
He desires to communicate with me, and have me be unwavering in my belief that it is, in fact, His voice. He wants to have a relationship with me, in which I am steadfast in my faith that He is a kind and loving Father. He wants me to approach Him and, with the innocence of a child, lay my thoughts, and worries, and wishes before Him. And He wants me to await His answer with child-like anticipation.
This message didn’t truly take root until the Ram Awakening retreat two weekends ago. We all got to take part in a beautiful adoration and worship night, and at the conclusion, the priest walked the Monstrance around the room, blessing each and every individual with the sign of the cross. I was about 3 rows back at this point, and when I realized what it was that he was doing, I grew incredibly eager: I had never encountered something like this before. I scooted out into the aisle a little more, so I would be closer to him when he came my way. I folded my hands a straightened my back. I started to think of what I would do once Jesus was brought before me, would I stare at it and then do the sign of the cross, or do the sign of the cross and then stare? I was so eager to see our Lord up close and personal, I could hardly contain myself. I was anticipating Him in a truly child-like way.
When Father finally brought the Monstrance before me, I was filled with such joy, I could literally picture the Father smiling down at me. I finally understood, that this amount of eager anticipation, is what He desires from me all the time. This level of fascination, and belief in His presence before me.
People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them, and blessed them.
As I grow older, I find myself quick to disbelieve, and quick to doubt. And I imagine this disbelief makes it incredibly hard for the Lord to communicate with me at times. I’m sure He tries, only to have me chalk it up to pure imagination, or my own voice in my head telling me what I want to hear. But when I imagine speaking to Him as a child might, a whole new door is opened. It is far easier to approach Him with my requests and burdens when I imagine myself approaching Him on the feet of a younger me. And it is far easier to trust in His goodness and answer to my prayer when I try to imitate the eagerness and anticipation of a child.
And so, I will continue to gaze upon Him through the eyes of a child. I will continue to strive to receive God’s grace and love like a child, so that I might one day receive His Kingdom like a child…
with steadfast believe, and great anticipation.
Maddie Zenk is a junior biomedical science major at Colorado State University. She is also a very active member of Ram Catholic. Maddie is on the Student Advisory Board, leads Bible Studies, and helps to evangelize on campus. Ram Catholic is excited to follow her journey this Lent!
“Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until He comes and showers His righteousness on you.” -Hosea 10:12
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