Bob Tamasy: The Faith Of A Child – For Adults

Monday, March 17, 2014 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

As the official start of spring approaches, here’s a warm-weather image – especially for those of you who have endured much of the winter up to your eyeballs in snow and ice.

Picture a small boy or girl, not more than two years old, standing at the edge of a sun-drenched community pool. Daddy’s in the pool with arms extended, encouraging tiny Jimmy or Jill to dive in, promising to catch the little leaper. A bit wary, the child finally casts caution aside and makes the jump toward the inviting water. As promised, Daddy grabs mini-person and holds on securely. 

Why does the child do it? Jumping into water over your head is dangerous when you can’t swim. What if the child slips through the father’s grasp and goes underwater? Or what if Daddy decides not to catch the little one? There’s just one reason the child does it: Childlike faith.

Little Jimmy or Jill might not jump into the arms of a complete stranger. Hopefully they won’t. But they know Daddy. A relationship has been established, built on love and trust. If Daddy asks them to jump, there’s no reason for fear. And they don’t have to stop and calculate the various risks – all they know is Daddy is totally reliable. He keeps his promises. There’s nothing to worry about. So they jump. And most likely, throughout the summer they will jump again, again and again. 

On numerous occasions, Jesus talked about the faith of a child. He told His followers, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who does not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Luke 18:16-17).

Another time Jesus used a child for show-and-tell: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:2-4). 

Like a little girl hurling herself off the edge of a pool into a parent’s waiting arms, without gathering statistical evidence to confirm the likelihood of mom or dad successfully catching her, God calls us to exercise similar faith in committing to Him.

That doesn’t mean throwing all reason aside. Faith in Jesus Christ doesn’t require mindless, unquestioning commitment. God isn’t intimidated by our doubts and questions. They’re actually helpful in the process of spiritual growth. 

At the same time, faith involves a willingness to proceed in trust when we being asked to venture into the unknown. Just as jumping into a pool amounts to a literal leap of faith for a toddler, many times God asks His spiritual children to take leaps of faith.

The first “leap” is receiving the gift of salvation Christ offers, accepting His death on the cross as the only possible atonement for the forgiveness of our sins. But that’s just one of many occasions when, like the trusting child, we must proceed even when the way seems unclear or uncertain. 

That’s been the case several times in my career, changing jobs and moving my family as God directed. Sometimes He calls us to perform acts of charitable generosity that don’t make sense from a financial standpoint. “Put the calculator away,” God says. “Just do what I ask – and trust Me to more than make up the difference.”

There are countless other ways our heavenly Father asks us to follow Him with childlike faith, when “common sense” urges us otherwise. That’s why Proverbs 3:5-6 has become so dear to me over the years. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” 

Many times my “own understanding” raised red flags, cautioning, “You don’t want to do that – that’s makes no sense.” But then God said, “Trust Me. I know exactly what I’m doing.” Thankfully, He’s shown that to be true more times than I could ever remember.

As adults we want to be “sophisticated,” relying on logic and reason. We prefer to walk by sight and not by faith, feeling too “grown up” for spiritual intangibles. But ultimately, that’s what faith is all about. It’s “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Another translation says it’s “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” 

For the little child at pool’s edge, staring at Daddy’s outreached hands, the leap forward isn’t based on hope-so but confident assurance, never doubting the parent will do as promised. God desires the same childlike trust from us. It’s like He’s saying, “Child, you’ve trusted Me before and I’ve always come through for you. Why would I stop doing that now?”

---

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, a former newspaper editor and magazine editor. He is presently vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit focused on mentoring and coaching business and professional leaders. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and has authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” “Business at Its Best,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. He also posts regularly on two blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com. He can be emailed at btamasy@comcast.net.


Steve Ellison: Self Is Always The Problem

The history of God’s people was a sad tale.  Their behavior continually cycled. But it seemed to always wind up worse than the previous cycle.  Soon after Solomon’s death, the nation split into two kingdoms.  Not long after the split, the idolatry of the northern kingdom (Israel) became so bad that God summoned a cruel nation (Assyria) to destroy them.  Not long ... (click for more)

Congressional Leaders Seek Release Of American Pastor Unjustly Detained In Turkey

Leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations and House Foreign Affairs Committees sent a letter signed by 78 members of Congress to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan seeking the unconditional release of American pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been unjustly detained in Turkey since October and denied regular and appropriate access to legal counsel and American consular services. ... (click for more)

2 Shot Tuesday Afternoon On Windsor Street

Chattanooga Police responded on Tuesday to the 2100 block of Windsor Street, on a report that two people had been shot.   Upon arrival, officers located two victims suffering from gunshot wounds. Their injuries are non-life threatening at this time. Both victims were transported to a local hospital by Hamilton County EMS.   Two suspects were reported to police. ... (click for more)

Erlanger Reports Dramatic Increase In Flu-Like Illnesses

The number of influenza-like illnesses treated at Erlanger Health System shows a dramatic increase compared to this time last year.  Erlanger reported treating 156 patients with flu like illnesses between Feb. 12 and 18 of this year. This represents a significant increase from the seven cases reported during the same week last year and 15 cases reported approximately a month ... (click for more)

Judge Doug Meyer Lived A Full Life Helping Many

I was sadden to learn of the death of Judge Doug Meyer.  Judge Meyer retired from the Criminal Court bench here in 2006.  Prior to that he had been the Chattanooga city judge for several years.  As a young attorney I tried many cases in front of Judge Meyer.  Also while I was awaiting my case to be tried, I would observe him on the bench.  Judge Meyer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Blackburn Good As Gone

I didn’t know until I read John Adams’ column in the Knoxville News-Sentinel that one person who doesn't personally know UTC Athletic Director David Blackburn said he heard he has a drinking problem. I also didn’t know that “the best thing to ever happen to UTC athletics” had health problems, according to a second person who does not personally know him. It is also being said David ... (click for more)