Sophie’s going through a lovely stage of affection at the moment.

She loves to zip around the house, scuttling on her little legs between rooms and then appearing from nowhere to jump out at me or my wife with a big beaming smile on her face.

I’ve taken to crouching down with my arms open wide and my eyes tightly closed, encouraging her to charge and give me a massive hug.

Arms open wide

Sometimes she gives me a look of disdain – “why would I, Daddy?” – but mostly, she’s very keen to reciprocate. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that she is fully dependent on me and loves me like I love her.

But that’s not  the most special part of it.

One of our ministers Rich preached on Matthew 18 yesterday, all about how Jesus gave such high esteem to tiny little children. In this passage, Jesus says that the greatest in the kingdom of heaven is someone who takes the humble position of a child.

Someone who becomes completely dependent on God, rather than relying on themselves and their own efforts.

And it struck me that the way I love to be with Sophie, arms flung wide for her to run into is much like how God is with us.

He opens his arms out for us to accept and become wrapped in His embrace. If we are willing to become dependent on Him, we can trust Him totally to care for us.

In fact, more than that, we can rest in the continued outpouring of His grace in every aspect of our life.

While we spend our time charging and scuttling round in our efforts, God is at work behind the scenes. He wants us to rest in Him. He wants us to trust Him because He has got it all under control.

Becoming like a little child strips away all our pride. Nothing of our own do we bring to our relationship with God. If it wasn’t for His actions in sending Jesus to die for us, there wouldn’t be a relationship at all!

What we need to do is, like Sophie, run into the arms of our Father, depending on Him to take care of us.

And I’m grateful to her for teaching me that!