LUKE 10:2-3, 21 (NIV) | Jesus told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves … I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.”
Like lambs among wolves. Jesus can be accused of a lot of things, but being boring is not one of them. As a children’s educator I appreciate this—not much learning happens when students are bored. And yet I am pretty sure adopting Jesus’ “lambs among wolves” strategy would bring a parent or two to my office. I’m also pretty sure the kids themselves would jump up to volunteer before I even finished issuing the invitation. Remember what Jesus can’t help but blurt out in Luke 10 when his lambs return?
“You have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.”
The trouble, then, is this: I like being a well-educated parent with wisdom under her belt, and the Church likes this about me, too. It’s comfortable—for both of us. Mercifully there was a time not so long ago when, after a full day of serving and praying and loving, I settled down to an evening television program and realized I was, well, bored. My next thought, though, was worse: If following Jesus is never boring, then maybe, just maybe, I was no longer following Jesus.
Luke 10 so beautifully displays the terrifying and awesome paradox of following. Risk and joy go hand in hand, and the key to breaking through and grabbing both is to be a child again. His child. Our Father knows we need instructions, but he keeps them simple and brief and then lets us try. As adults we want more information, maybe even a case study or two, but as a child we cry, “I want a turn!” and we run out of our house without our jacket.
Being around children helps us grow in child-likeness. As Alastair and I shed “boredom” and began to step out and take greater risks, approaching strangers in the streets to pray for miraculous physical healing, we often did so with our kids in tow. We gave ourselves grace about not knowing what we were doing and just followed the Spirit’s lead to be students alongside our children. And when we went on our first “treasure hunt”—asking for divine clues from the Holy Spirit to guide us as we approach strangers and tell them of God’s love—we did so with a cluster of kids. Their enthusiasm transformed our fear and trembling. When our group found “Andrew” with the “red cap” in the “park” just because these were the words we thought we heard Holy Spirit whisper, all of us actually leapt off the ground with excitement.
The interesting thing, though, is that boredom still returns. I find it one of the most helpful markers that God is on the move and that it is time for me to re-posture myself as his child yet again. I don’t like giving up “my expertise”—it stings each and every time—but I want to be his little lamb. Because the wolves have got nothing on his little lambs. In fact, one day they are going to lie down next to us.
Let it be today, Father. Let it be today.
QUESTIONS FOR APPLICATION
- How is our Father inviting you into deeper child-likeness today?
- What is he asking you to release?
- What is he showing you to do?
This reading is part of our "On Earth as It Is in Heaven" devotional series. You can also sign up to receive these meditations by email.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Catherine Rundle and her husband, Alastair, spent their last 6 years living and serving among the poor in downtown Los Angeles with their two children. They recently moved to Redding, California, where they are working to bridge strategic discipleship with the power of the Holy Spirit, in order to see a movement of God sustained and cities transformed.