If you have small children, you have or will likely experience it; the family takes a road trip, and once in a while during the drive, the little one asks, “Are we there yet?” With three of my own, I can say that I’ve had my fill of that cute but mildly irritating question. But as it went, just as the older child matured enough to abandon it, the younger picked up the baton.
The obvious difference between the older and the younger child is that the older can process time and distance while the younger is still learning to. But there is another aspect of this example that is important to point out. The older child is beginning to take you at your word. You say you are taking the seven hour drive to grandma’s, and they get it and believe it. Parents, do your best with your kids to keep your word.
If you say what you mean and mean what you say, your maturing child and you will develop a strong relationship of trust. That mutual integrity will make life much more pleasurable for the both of you as a result. And the little one? Well, they will need a bit more than just your word, but as they see with their eyes the benefits the older gets to enjoy by trusting what you say, then they will also want those benefits.
There was a follower of Jesus in the Bible named Thomas (Jn. 20:24-28). This young man followed Christ for three and a half years just like the other disciples did. Yet when Jesus died and was raised from the grave, Thomas swore that he wouldn’t believe Christ was alive unless he saw Him with his own eyes. Well, he did get to see, and he believed. But Jesus also mildly rebuked him, reminding him that, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed”.
There was another man in the Bible named Nathanael (Jn. 1:43-51). This man was not one of the twelve disciples of Jesus, but had a simple conversation with Him. In that talk, Jesus told him something that only God could have known about him. And because of what Jesus said, Nathanael called Him the Son of God. Jesus then replied, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.”
Both Nathanael and Thomas were children of the Father. Yet Thomas was essentially of the “Are we there yet?” persuasion. Nathanael was perfectly comfortable with taking Jesus at His word. But by his belief in what God said, he was also promised to see greater things. I believe that Jesus did not make him one of the twelve because his faith in the Lord was already mature enough for him to do life’s journey without direct supervision. How about you?
Thomas showed baby-faith. But Nathanael’s maturity was the sort of blessed-faith the Lord wants everyone in Him to walk by.