By Milton Harris III
As my four year old son continues to get older and grow in his relationship with God, my wife and I really try to take seriously God's command to train up a child in the ways of God. However, the funny thing that's been happening as my wife and I labor in teaching our son about Jesus is that he has been teaching us at the same time what true faith looks like. It's through our daily interactions with him that we're really able to understand what the scripture means when it says that we should have childlike faith. Jayden shows us without even realizing it what childlike faith looks like. It's through him that I've learned that childlike faith before it is tainted by the ideologies and experiences of this world is pure, bold, confident, and most of all trusting to no end in the word and promises of God, no matter what the circumstances are.
One day my wife and I took Jayden and my four year old nephew to the swimming pool, and it was then that we got a child-like faith lesson on overcoming fear from a four year old. With their swim trunks on and sporting their cool Spider-Man life vest both boys charged the pool. Jayden, without hesitation jumped in the deep end of the water, making a big splash. My nephew however, came to a screeching halt at the edge of the pool. What's wrong I asked him, don't you want to get in the water? He responded "no I'm too scared!" As I began to unsuccessfully try and convince him that it was nothing to be afraid, Jayden paddled over and with one simple statement convinced my nephew to get in the water and taught a profound lesson on overcoming fear at the same time. Jayden, as he paddled in the water looked up at my nephew and said "you don't have to be afraid because Jesus is with you and he lives in your heart and He will protect you."
Only if we all could view the things that causes us to have fear in that way, I believe we would have people doing all kinds of amazing things in the name of The Lord. Instead we are fearful of everything! We fear whether or not we will be successful in life, we fear the thought of chasing after our dreams because of the fear that we may fail, we even fear sharing the Gospel because we fear persecution. However, if we looked at the things that causes us to have fear through the eyes of a Jesus believing four year old we wouldn't fear anything because we would trust that God is always with us and is protecting us. In all circumstances we would trust His word in Isaiah 41:10 that states "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you."
The difference between the two four year olds was that even though both had life vest on, their perspectives were different. Our purpose in going to the pool that day was for them to play in the water. My nephew saw the water and feared the possibility of drowning. Jayden jumped in to fulfill his purpose without hesitation because he recognized that he did not have to fear jumping into his purpose even though the environment in which he was jumping into was designed to try and pull him down and kill him. He knew that he had a life vest on that would protect him, and keep him afloat though the water wanted to take him under. Ladies and gentlemen, Jesus wants you to know that He is your life vest! You don't have to be afraid to go after your dreams, you don't have to be afraid of your future, because regardless of how deep or rocky the waters may get along the journey of life, He will be the life vest that's always with you, strengthening you and keeping you from sinking.