Remembering To Be Little
God doesn’t call us to save ourselves, but to look to what Jesus accomplished once for all upon the cross.
As the philosopher-poet Billy Joel once sang, “We didn’t start the fire; it was always burning since the world’s been turning.” The world being filled with trouble and sorrow is nothing new. But certainly, the last two years have felt particularly troubled in the West—from an increasingly vitriolic cultural and political landscape to terrorism and the Syrian genocide to fears of war and global warming. Turning on the TV or reading a news feed can be a crushing, overwhelming experience. And certainly it should drive us to prayer and a deepened awareness of the ravages of sin and humanity’s need for Jesus.
Yet in those times, there is a great danger—that of despair. Sorrow and lamentation are healthy responses to a broken world, yet in the face of despair, it’s vital to remember that we have a living hope. I’ve found that’s a lesson that God has taught me many times, and in a way, it’s a lesson that is actually embedded in the story of Little Francis Falls Asleep.
Little Francis searches for a way to solve his problems by taking action, by finding a way to fix himself. And yet he finds a true solution only when he looks outward and upward—to God.
Human beings tend to be like little Francis in our way—we see a problem and react in one of two ways: repair or despair. In repair mode, we see the craziness of our world and try to fix things ourselves; in despair mode, we just decide there's no hope.
Yet instead, I believe God calls us to look outward and upward: to remember that God is in control, that he is the source of everything good in our lives, and that in Jesus, he came to personally heal the brokenness of our world.
Only in remembering that God is our Savior, our Healer, can we find the peace, patience, and power that will enable us to go do something about the pain all around us. Only then can we love others freely, without despair or an unhealthy sense of self-reliance. God doesn’t call us to save ourselves, but to look to what Jesus accomplished once for all upon the cross, and to find our hope and strength in that.
It is then that we are free to be “little”—to relate to God as children, children who cannot fix the problems of the world by themselves, who don’t know all the answers, but who trust that God is in control. There’s great humility to that, and great peace. And, as little Francis illustrates, there is also great rest.
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Born and raised in Southern California, Pip Craighead has been a lifelong student of film and literature. He's continually fascinated by the power of art and story as ways to experience the wonder of God and his creation—and this fascination is evident in Pip’s new children's book, Little Francis Falls Asleep.