There are some similarities between an infant and an adult. They both have needs and desires, both are constantly learning and both have expectations placed on them by others. Obviously, there are many differences as well! Two big things that differentiate adults from infants are their greater abilities to understand (observe, comprehend, discern) and also to choose (to be able to affect and determine outcomes for themselves and possibly others).
While as adults (or teenagers!) we don’t like the idea of being referred to as infants, in some aspects of our lives this can be very true. There are situations or circumstances where (like infants) we may not understand and can feel like we have no control. It could be a work situation, a complicated relationship, a challenging ministry or possibly our journey with the Lord. Like children, we sometimes prefer to retreat/withdraw in these times (we diplomatically call it ‘taking a break’). This response could be out of frustration or hopelessness, maybe out of embarrassment or pride, possibly a desire to hit the pause button and recoup, or even just the familiarity of being there before.
And yet, our advice to a child would almost always be ‘Have another go!’, ‘Try it again!’ or ‘Don’t give up now!’. Why? Because as an adult we know that it is perseverance through the situation that learning, maturity, understanding and ability to choose wisely is cultivated.
With Christ, no situation is hopeless. Lack of understanding is not failure. Not being in control is not weakness. We may need to simplify – to go back to our child-like faith… remembering to pray, seek, trust and hope in Christ. But none of those responses are retreat. In fact, they are a place of great understanding and an excellent choice! In such situations, take the advice you’d give a child and listen to your Heavenly Father.
May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.