Narnia and Childlike Faith
Recently I reread an old childhood favorite, The Chronicles of Narnia. There are seven books in the series and each tell the tale of a band of children entering into this beautiful land of talking animals and conquering evil with good. Truthfully, as a kid, they were just fun stories. As an adult, I found myself completely taken with the grace and restoration beautifully laced through each book. I don’t want to spoil any of them because I highly recommend that you should read them if you haven’t, but there was one particular theme that stuck out to me through each book: child-like faith.
Something you see easily in Narnia is that every time the lion Aslan shows up, the children know that they are safe. As the reader, you can’t help but feel jubilant because you know yourself that it’s going to be okay now, Aslan is here! Sometimes Aslan asks them to do things that may not make a lot of sense and it might be scary, but they believe that he is trustworthy. Simply put, they put their faith in Aslan without questioning it. I can’t speak for all of the characters throughout the books, but for the most part people recognize that Aslan is all-knowing, mighty, and kind.
As we start a new year, it’s hard not to think about things that one could improve, habits to create for healthier living, goals to achieve. Some people even have a word for the year. When I think about what I want to embrace better for 2019, it is that child-like faith of just trusting that God is who he says he is. I think that is a really powerful thought, but if I am honest, I am not great at always believing it. That God knows the ways of my future, and I don’t. That God is truly kind and shows us that characteristic of himself more than we realize. That day in and out, I have Jesus, Immanuel, God always with me.
I know that this will take a lot of work. That my feeble, sinful, human heart is going to need to mature and grow through the help of the Holy Spirit and the Word. That embracing a child-like faith doesn’t mean to be childish and refusing to believe anything other than that my ways are the best ways. I found what Rusty Osborne says to be a great encouragement:
Embracing childlike faith means we accept that Christ’s call to kingdom greatness looks like service and not harsh ruling, meekness and not selfish ambition, and continual dependence on God’s grace. Anyone who has pursued service, meekness, and dependence will tell you these characteristics don’t come easily to sinners. In fact, true childlike faith sees the necessity of growth in these areas and turns to the one source of life and strength for help.
May we also be like the children from Narnia and put our faith in the Father without questioning it or wondering if we could do better by ourselves as we walk into this new year. Knowing that God is who he says he is. That he truly is Immanuel, God with us, and God for us.