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Matthew 18:2-4 says, “He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said, ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.'”

So, what exactly does that mean? What does God mean by wanting us to have a child-like faith?

I go on runs through the neighborhood with our dog, Twizzler quite frequently. And the other day as we were running, I actually started thinking about this verse in Matthew.

When Twizzler is at our house, she can roam freely without hesitation. The house and our yard is her place; it’s her own little world where she feels comfortable. And while she may think she knows what goes on outside of that fence, she really has no idea. She doesn’t realize that if a car hits her it could kill her or that a random person walking by could be a stranger wanting to kidnap her. Twizzler does not understand the vastness and complexity of what lies beyond our own yard.

During our runs, Twizzler squirms at the neighborhood children playing ball and watches with eagerness the squirrels that scurry across the road in front of us. She even becomes distracted as the occasional butterfly flutters by. When she is with me, she feels completely safe. She doesn’t have to pay attention to where we are going or what is going on around us. She completely relies on me to get us to where we are supposed to be going.

If Twizzler were to somehow wiggle her way out of her collar and get separated from me, she would have no idea where she was. She would be completely lost without any concept of how to return home. And even as she runs by my side on the leash, she completely relies on me to get us home. Twizzler wouldn’t have the slightest idea as to where to turn first.

As we run through the neighborhood, I believe that Twizzler feels safe. She knows that I love her and would do anything to protect her from harm. She knows that I would always keep her safe and that with my guidance, I would lead her in the correct direction every single time. All she had to do was stay by my side on her leash and do what she was told to do and she would have fun along the way, whether or not she knew what was going on or where we were going.

In all of our runs together, never have I seen her get scared or hesitate. She embraced each run as an adventure with full confidence in me, her master.

I believe that God wants us to have this same kind of faith, with full confidence in Him (our Master) that he knows what is best for us. It may not be an easy trail and may be full of hills, but with complete trust in Him, we will have no reason to be scared. And even if we veer down the wrong path to a dead end, our Master will never leave us.

Life is not easy and can become quite difficult at times. But when we fully rely on Him to get us where we are supposed to be going, things don’t seem as scary. As we tackle life together, let us remember that God wants us to have puppy-like faith.