"For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession." Deuteronomy 7:6
Yesterday I took my kids to their first ever swimming lessons. We've never had a convenient opportunity to do so before, so when the opportunity arose, we leaped at the chance. I watched from several feet away as the swim instructor gave crazy-easy instructions and then the kids all followed along. What can I really say, but that as I watched my little boy conquer his fears and nervousness to at least try, my heart soared. I would watch Abigail proudly torpedo across the pool, and I just thought about how my kids are such treasures to me. And they are! Nearly every day I spend time just marveling at the wonderful people they truly are, and this morning as I think about these proud mommy moments I have, I realize exactly why it is that God created us the way we are.
When we become parents, when we care for that child with all our heart, and treasure them above all else, I truly think that we get a glimpse at the way God cares for His children. We get an idea of the pride that our Father has when He sees us overcome our fears, or when we learn to do something new. When I think about that... When I think that the feelings I have for my children pale in comparison to how God feels for me, my mind simply cannot process that. I would give my life for my children in an instant- without even a thought for myself- and God did that very thing for us. His Son, His only Son, part of Himself, was sacrificed for my benefit... How great is our God?!
"Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all." 1 Chronicles 29:11
I think that when we read verses like this in our Bibles, or sing them in song, we really don't understand the magnitude of what we are hearing or reading. Everything in heaven and earth belongs to God. Everything!
I think about when I am working in the garden or the yard, and I get something accomplished that I've been working hard at. I tend to view my work with pride- whether it be a newly planted garden, or a newly tended bed- free of weeds and neatened up just so. I see what I have accomplished and maybe I'll even show it off- like a proud parent showing off a new baby. But what have I really done? I've not done work in MY garden- I've spent time working in God's Garden, and He has blessed me with the ability to do what it is I have done. He has put those beautiful plants here on this earth and blessed me with the ability to know how to care for them properly. When my children do work like that, yes they are proud of their work, but more than that, what they really want is for Mommy or Daddy to be pleased with their work. I'm wondering a bit how my perspective on things might change if I were to approach it in that manner- in the way of a child.
Does the work I do please God? Do the things I do from day to day bring pleasure to God- is it pleasing to His eye? Does the way I go about my day cause my Father to swell with pride as He watches His treasured one go about her day? I suspect often times not. When I have those lazy days- or worse, those crabby days- what does God think of those?
My kids also had a crabby day yesterday. After a long weekend, they just were lacking rest and were short with each other- was I disappointed with them? Not really, I expected the crabbies. I expected that yesterday much of their behavior would simply need to be ignored, or treated with gentleness, so as not to rouse the bad attitudes that were not slumbering deeply. And as I think of that, as I think of the fact that as a mom, I understand when my kids have off days. I understand when they have had a lack of sleep and an excess of spent energy and they just need a day or two to relax and rejuvenate- and then I see that God understands too. He understands when we're burning the candle at both ends, and though He sees us when we are not at our best, He still loves us no matter what.
That is awesome to think on. I think that too often we focus on our failings, how maybe yesterday I could have just done a little more, or I could have done better. God knows that we are not perfect- He designed us this way after all! But He sees our hearts- He sees our intentions, and He understands when situations get even the best of us.
I just love thinking of God as a parent. There are so many thoughts that I have about my children that make me pause and reflect on how God views His children. A parent will always love their child. However far from grace they may fall- a parent's love will never, ever fail. That's exactly how God is. God's love for us will never cease- it is an everlasting love that will stay with us every moment of every day, and will last our whole lifetimes.
"But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children-" Psalm 103:17