Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Like a Child

Though she was barely two-years-old, she clearly understood the meaning of the word “goodbye.” She was not a fan.

Our daughter, Lisa, had just pulled up at the Fort Wayne airport to drop off my husband, our daughter Beth, and me. We took turns leaning in to say good-bye to little Emma. Her little face crumbled in dismay as she began to understand that we were actually leaving.

Twenty seconds after Lisa drove away I got this text from her: “Emma’s crying.” Though we were sad Emma was upset, it was also felt good to be missed.

We had spent five days in Indiana with our two daughters, their husbands, and little Emma. Though it was a short visit, we’d squeezed in a lot of togetherness. Much of that time was spent playing with Emma.

 Emma for like a child


I had chased her as she giggled, both of us sure that if I caught her it would be fun.

We’d taught her to call us by name. She already had “Papa” down pat, and had learned to say “Beh” for Beth. Though Grandma was a harder title to master, she did manage something like “grammy.” I’m absolutely sure of it.

When she needed help with something, she brought it to one of us, knowing we’d be willing.

We love her and she accepts it without question. No “Do you love me?” No “why do you love me?” No “Do I deserve it?” She just knows that we do.

It’s that kind of childlike, unquestioning faith that God wants us to have about His love for each one of us.

He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:2-3

Kids don’t always know all the right words to say to explain what they are thinking, and that’s okay. We’re just glad they come to us! When we talk to our Father, we don’t need to get all the words right either. God understands them before we even speak them (Psalm 139:4), for He hears the whispers of our heart .

For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying.                                   Romans 8:26b-27a, NLT

Kids don’t question the love we have for them, they just accept it. They know it is real, and it is trustworthy. How much more can we trust our heavenly Father, who loves us perfectly?

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!                                                       1 John 3:1

He yearns for us to come to Him, sure of our welcome, and confident that our Father loves us. He delights in us when we ask for what we need, knowing without question that we are loved. Above all, He rejoices when we receive, and then rest, in that knowledge.

Just like Emma.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?...I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.                     Romans 8:35, 38-39

Further reflection:

1. Do you know that God loves you?

2. Do you ever struggle with accepting it?

3. Use your concordance to look up the word “love”, and write down what you learn about the reality of God’s love for you.

Father, Abba, my Daddy…I know that You love me. Yet sometimes I struggle with feeling like I don’t deserve it. In my head I know Your love is perfect. Please help me, like Emma, to simply accept it, and to rest in the assurance that Your love is unchanging and unfailing.

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