Making Room for Children
Open Your Bible
Psalm 139:13-16, Proverbs 17:6, Matthew 18:1-6, Matthew 19:14, Matthew 21:14-16, Mark 10:13-16, Ephesians 6:1-4
“Mama, I feel like I’m upside down in a cornfield!”
Maybe this is something commonly heard in motherhood, but since I’ve yet to become a mother, I wouldn’t know. Hopefully, you’re just as confused as I was when I woke up to this statement in the middle of the night. I rubbed my eyes in confusion, as it took a minute to regain my bearings and remember exactly where I was—at the beach, with one of my best friends and her three children.
It was their annual beach vacation, and I’d said yes last-minute to hopping in the minivan for a few days of saltwater and sunshine before the rest of the family arrived. I didn’t have to be a mother to know that a seven-hour road trip with three kids is some kind of miracle. Ours was completed with only one short episode of crying and one small snack-spilling incident. Victorious, we’d tossed aside our sandals and rolled up our jeans at the first sight of ocean. We splashed around in the dark until we could barely keep our eyes open.
Our cozy hotel room was filled with baby snuggles and loud giggles. It was a world away from my quiet apartment at home, and I loved making room for every sweet moment. I was letting the little children come to me and received cuteness and cuddles—a serious benefit—in return. But upon waking up in the middle of the night, the scene was a little different.
A flipped lightswitch signaled that the “upside down in a cornfield” child was awake and not dreaming. Her tiny whimper and the worried look on her mama’s face confirmed the girl’s sudden sickness and strange hallucination. Their hurried footsteps headed for the bathroom, where baby brother’s travel crib was still blocking the toilet. That’s when I remembered that I’d been sharing a water bottle with the sweet, sickly child all day long, which meant I was probably halfway to a “cornfield” myself.
Small things sometimes turn out to be the most significant and, well, contagious—especially when they have hearts that beat like yours and mine. Making room for children is hard because we never stop being children ourselves. We never stop needing our Father. We struggle to make room even for ourselves, only to see that He already has, again and again.
This is why it’s important to make room for the children tugging on our shirts and hanging on our legs even—especially—if they aren’t living in our homes. The parent-child relationship is one of the most prevalent themes in Scripture. Shouldn’t it be one of the most prevalent themes in our lives? We should care for these little ones Jesus loves so dearly. Even when it means getting messy. Even when it means waking up in the middle of the night. Even when it means being upside down in a cornfield.
Isn’t that what He does for us? God knew us when we were formless (Psalm 139:16). He prepared praise from our mouths as infants (Matthew 21:16). He asks us simply to come to Him (Matthew 19:14). May we do the same for others, especially when they are small, for they are not small to Him. Amen.