But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14 (NKJV)
I’ve been wrestling with this verse lately. For so long it has been one of my favorite verses, part of my calling to homeschool our children and to teach preschool Sunday school, sharing Jesus with God’s littlest ones. Yet lately I’ve come to understand it could have other interpretations.
Two days before my granddaughter was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance and diagnosed with cancer, we had an earnest discussion at my Bible study. Our study book shared the testimony of a mom who had lost her three-year-old daughter to a sudden illness. One of our ladies asked if that little girl was in heaven. Our leader replied, “Most certainly.”
Just that morning I had been reading my daily Bible reading which included the verse above from Matthew 19:14. I had studied the notes in my John MacArthur study Bible and felt God urging me to share them. MacArthur explained how God’s mercy is graciously extended to the “infants” who are not yet capable of belief. In His great mercy, He grants them entrance into heaven. We see this example when King David’s first son with Bathsheba died. In 2 Samuel 12:23, King David proclaimed:
…I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me. 2 Samuel 12:23 (NKJV)
King David knew the hope and promise of seeing his baby again in heaven. It reminded me of the book called Heaven is for Real, where a little boy was so sick he went to heaven and saw Jesus with many children, including his own sister! I also rejoice in knowing that the babies we lost are waiting for us in heaven, and I shared this joy with the other ladies.
But then came the news about our granddaughter, so soon after this discussion, and I said, “NO!!!!!!!” You can not have this little one yet! Maybe in 80 years, but not now!” Though I know she could be happy and dancing with Jesus and her younger siblings and aunts, and not have to endure more cancer treatments or the rough teen years or any heartache, I don’t want that for her parents. I want them to have the joy of raising their daughter and I want to share in that joy.
And so, as Kennedy continues to endure chemo treatments and pains, I cry out like the father in Heaven is for Real, “No!!! Is this how you treat your prayer warriors?! Please heal her, O God, I pray! (Num. 12:13) Hear my cry, O God, attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I (Psalm 61:1-2). Heal our Kennedy Grace. Amen.”
Today’s TEA CUPP: Read how Jesus welcomed the children in Matthew 19:13-15. What are these verses telling you? What young children in your life can you welcome in Jesus’ Name?
Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Mark 10:14 (NKJV)
And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him. Luke 2:40 (NKJV)
Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.