By Victoria Olivetta
After four years and a 44-hour bus ride, I was finally visiting my daughter and son-in-law and seeing my young granddaughter, Giovanna, for the first time. She had my heart instantly—so cute, so smart, so active. Other grandparents will understand if I say that my granddaughter is the most adorable, wonderful girl in the world!
I spent as much time as I could with her, trying to get to know and understand her. It was amazing to see how much Giovanna looked and acted like her mother had at the same age, but at the same time she very definitely had her own unique personality and ways.
I put great emphasis on my children’s education and started early, and my daughter and son-in-law have enthusiastically started doing the same with Giovanna. At 20 months Giovanna can already read a few words, counts to 20, knows the basic colors, is starting to learn geometric shapes, and has memorized a number of simplified Bible verses. She is very bright, but still exudes the innocence of a toddler.
One day she was running around, playing, and being a little rowdy. In a flash she went from doing her famous “A-frame” exercise on the bed (head and feet firmly planted on the mattress, bottom up, arms crossing the A) to landing on the floor with a thud. She looked surprised, but thankfully wasn’t seriously hurt. She sat there for a moment with an expression that was a mix of shock, disbelief, and embarrassment.
After she recovered and stood up, I offered to pray for her because I was sure that such an unexpected fall must have been at least a little painful. As soon as I finished the prayer, Giovanna opened her big brown eyes, and there it was—that unmistakable sparkle of playfulness. She unfolded her hands and was ready to get back to the important affairs of her young life: more jumping and playing.
A few days later her father needed to travel to another city and be gone for a couple of days, and she missed him. He has made a habit of spending one-on-one time with her at the same time each day, whenever possible, and that was when she missed him most while he was away. One day my daughter told Giovanna that instead of being upset, she should pray for her daddy, and they prayed together. Immediately her expression changed from one of worry and loss to one of peace and trust; she was her happy, playful self again.
Her simple faith made me reevaluate my own. It’s one thing to pray and trust that God will answer (that’s why we pray in the first place, because we expect some kind of answer), but it’s often something else to pray and immediately stop worrying about the situation because we truly believe the answer is already on the way. Giovanna really believed, so she could happily get on with life.
By D.B. Berg
It pays to be as a little child. In fact, Jesus said, “Unless you … become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 18:3) and, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:14). We’re to be like little children—loving, sweet, simple believers, in childlike faith believing and receiving all that God has for us.
Children are samples of the citizenry of Heaven, like little angels dropped from the sky. They’re so fresh from Heaven that they understand prayer and other spiritual matters better than most adults. They talk to God and He talks to them. It’s that simple.
The problem with many grown-ups is that they know too much. They’ve been educated out of their childlike faith. But there are others of trusting childlike faith who are daily doing things that doubting intellectuals say can’t be done. So be like a little child, and anything wonderful can happen!
Excerpted from Activated Magazine. Used with permission. Photo © 123rf.com