Have you ever known a child with a favorite doll or stuffed animal? My daughter received a stuffed dog from her Sunday school teachers after having her tonsils removed last summer. She latched onto this one so quickly and has never looked back. He is an adorable, chocolate brown pup adequately named Cocoa.
She has always had a favorite doll or stuffed animal to carry around as long as I can remember. However, Cocoa is obviously more special to her than any other. If you know my youngest daughter personally, chances are you have met Cocoa. He goes EVERYWHERE she goes. If she is reading on the sofa, Cocoa is there. Cocoa has dined at nearly every restaurant in town (pre pandemic, of course), gone to the library, playgrounds, church services, and even nature hikes. This little pup gets around.
Presence is Everything
What strikes me most about their relationship is the utmost priority given to Cocoa’s presence. She is comforted just by his proximity and clings to Him daily. Her loyalty to Cocoa is astounding. From the day she received Cocoa, they have not parted ways for more than a few minutes at a time or during school hours.
I wonder how life would be different if we, as adults, carried our comforter with us wherever we went. What if we fell asleep with Jesus, woke up with Jesus, took Him on walks, and never left our homes without Him? How amazing would we feel with the Prince of Peace with us at all times?
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:7 ESV
Can you even imagine if we gave Him as much access to our lives as a child gives to their favorite doll or stuffed animal? If we spoke to Him about everything throughout the day, pausing to consider His reply? What would it look like if we believed as children believe in their reality? What if we were as devoted to our Savior as my daughter is to Cocoa, clinging to Him daily? How would we think, say, or do things differently if we carried Him with us everywhere we went without fail and most importantly, without fear, shame, or hesitation?
Each day I see my daughter devoted to Cocoa, carrying him in her arms, is now a reminder to carry Jesus with me. I want to take Him everywhere I go, invite Him into every area of my life, and fearlessly carry Him for the whole world to see. What if I proudly introduced Him to my friends, my co-workers, or the server at our local Olive Garden without fear of judgment?
We are called to share the hope within us.
The good news is we CAN do this and we should. Too often, we let the enemy convince us this is not acceptable, will not be received, or will be rejected by others. I have personally cowered in fear of such rejection and isolation carrying Jesus silently tucked in my purse, only to be found locked away in the Bible app. We should, however, reject these voices from the enemy and carry Jesus proudly, prepared with enough knowledge to defend His existence the way my daughter carries and defends Cocoa.
The enemy tells us the world will think we are silly, believing in fairy tales. We concede by stuffing Him into our back pocket, if we even carry Him outside of our homes at all. When others meet us, do they see Him in our actions and hear Him in our gentle words or is He hidden away?
Shine light on hope for others.
Friends, I pray we will not hesitate to shine our light before others to give glory to our Heavenly Father. Each time we see a child with a favorite toy I hope we will be reminded to proudly and confidently carry our Savior with us every where we go for the world to see and know Him. When others see this hope displayed in our every day words and deeds, they will ask where it comes from. Will we lift Him up, beaming with pride the way my daughter does with Cocoa to say, “His name is Jesus?” I pray we do.