A Child Sees “The Moon!” and “The Son!”

Children have a winsome way of instructing adults.

My son, Gideon, not yet two years old, teaches me a lesson about worship and the wonders of God.

If we walk outside right after dusk it’s not very long until he lifts an expectant gaze upward. With an awe-inspiring wonder in his eyes he exclaims, “Moon!” (sometimes pronounced “Boon!”)

It never gets old to him. He sees it near every night, but each time he is caught by complete surprise when earth’s companion reveals itself. He points to the heavens with a tiny index finger, gasps, and exclaims it again with more emphasis, “Moon!” He’ll then look to me to make sure I’m not missing out on this exquisite display of the cosmos. And I can’t help but look up with him and force the amazement in my voice while joining with him,

“Moon!”

When his brother, Josiah, was this age we had the same ritual.

The wonder of a glowing orb perfectly suspended before a pitch black backdrop is a mystery we “refined” adults rarely recognize anymore.

My son knows nothing of Cosmology or Astronomy, tidal forces or Neil Armstrong. But he knows the proper response to divine phenomena when he sees it (Psalm 19).

We should be more like children (Mat 18:3). Sophistication, tradition, materialism, and blatant worship at the altar of fallen reason have left us cold and dead inside. Our blind dedication to theoretical principles has left us passionless and purposeless.

As GK Chesterton once intimated: the problem is not that we are so advanced as a species but that we are so dull. One defining mark of spiritual maturity is when the curious marvel that is a blade of grass or tad pole can bring us to our knees in worship. The splendor of God’s power in those simple things rarely grips us anymore.

 The Halo of God I Took For Granted

A few nights ago there was a great halo around the moon that extended down into our stratosphere with epic brilliance. Around 10:30 my wife woke me up from a near dead sleep so I could go outside and witness it with her. She was as giddy as a schoolgirl about the sight, calling up her dad to awake and see the spectacle too.

ring around the moon
The moon I took for granted.

I was impressed. But standing in my chilly driveway with my boxer shorts on my demeanor was a little more reserved. The killjoy left side of my brain took over as I said:

“It’s just light from the moon refracting off ice crystals…”

And there I was, trying to be more than a child. I would have been much better off if I took notes from my one year old and just pointed up while exclaiming,

“MOON!”

The wonder of the gospel will make us children again (Mat 19:14). May we never view the empty tomb as some abstract historical fact or ecclesial tradition. There is an eternal chasm of difference between assenting to information about God and being ruined by a revelation of God.

The Christian paradox: Be mature in faith yet childlike in trust.

Today: may we look to the gospel of Jesus Christ with childlike astonishment, point to His cross and empty tomb and cry out to God and man, “The Son! The Son! The Son!”

What areas in life do you feel you need to be more “child-like”?

Bryan Daniels

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Author: Bryan Daniels

I am a follower of Jesus, a husband to Jessica, and a father of three boys: Josiah, Gideon and Judah. I teach high school math as a job, read reformed theology as a hobby, and write this blog just for kicks. With the rest of my time I coach football and track.

15 thoughts on “A Child Sees “The Moon!” and “The Son!””

  1. Bryan,

    Thanks so much for this very touching entry. We can all learn valuable lessons from children, for out of the mouths of babes. . . .” The God’s Word translation renders Matthew 21:16b in this way, “. . . From the mouths of little children and infants, you have created praise.”

    Overall, I am continually working on being more child-like in knowing that God is in control and that I don’t have to worry when circumstances don’t unfold as I think they should. Your son doesn’t worry in the least that you are not going to take care of him and be there for him every day. In a similar way, I have child-like faith that God will keep His promise to “never leave me, nor ever, ever, ever forsake me.” Without faith it is impossible to please God, and I am endeavoring to please God by demonstrating child-like faith each day.

    Thanks for the encouraging words.

    Dr. J

  2. That’s kind of the way I feel every time I see the ocean in person. My wife and I were blessed to get a vacation in Cancun right after Christmas. Every time I walked out onto our ocean-facing balcony, I almost wept. It was so beautiful, and to me, the ocean is a fantastic depiction of the awesome power of God. From my balcony, it appears to be infinite, because I can’t see the other side. It’s beautiful and terrifying, all at the same time…just like God. And it never. Gets. Old.

    1. You. are. so. right. ; ) I live near the beach and take it for granted. I prefer mountain ranges to most beach experiences but they all have an ethereal way of grabbing you and shaking you awake to God’s grandeur.

  3. Praise the Lord! My grandchildren have the same reaction to the moon, and your post makes me think of this scripture:

    The wolf will live with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the goat. The calf, the young lion, and the fatling will be together, and a child will lead them. (Isaiah 11:6)

    I want to be childlike too!

  4. We do take so much for granted, don’t we? I remember that ‘wow’ experience when standing on a rocky outcrop of a mountain, jutting out over a deep chasm with an equally high mountain opposite, but also when looking at a perfectly formed red rose, or a new born baby, or so many other evidences of a creator God.

    >> “What areas in life do you feel you need to be more “child-like”?”
    Sitting on my Father’s knee, being embraced by Him and learning more from Him.

  5. I remember when my kids were young, they thought that the moon was following them. I don’t remember their ages, but it showed me that even at a young age, they were the center of the universe.

  6. Bryan, your excellent thoughts take me back about 21 years ago when our daughter was about 3 years old. We walked out of church one dark night and the moon stood out so beautifully. Ester looked up at the moon and could hardly take her eyes off it. Then she said, “Mommy, get me a ladder so I can climb up to the moon.” I’ll never forget her expectant request thinking it was as simple as getting a ladder and she could touch the moon. But I’m taken back to your thoughts of wishing we could keep the wonder seen in young children when we touch a blade of grass or other amazing but very common displays of God’s creation.

  7. There is so much we could learn from children. Your bible verse quote of remain like a child is so true that is why Jesus always welcome the little children. And the moon, I love the moon.

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