In honor of Father's Day, I thought I would let my husband Marcus write this blog post instead of me. I am amazed to see God working in his life and so blessed to be sharing this life journey with him! Happy Father's Day!
In the last few days I’ve been taking care of a couple repair/maintenance odds and ends around the house like replacing our garbage disposal and trying to get the riding lawnmower back to great cutting form. As I’ve been working on these things, I couldn’t help but notice how my youngest boys were watching me. Both boys asked on separate tasks “Daddy, are you really going to fix that?” And as I answered with a “Yes”, it seemed to me like they were amazed. They couldn’t take their eyes off what I was doing! It got me thinking of a couple different things:
The first thing I thought of was my Dad and Grandpas. With Father’s Day being this weekend, it was so nice to think back to how many times I watched one of them do something as a young boy and remember that same feeling of being so amazed by what they did. They were incredible. At times they were like super-heroes with all of the things they made, fixed, etc. Then I remember growing older and losing that feeling and not appreciating those things nearly as much until 20 some years later, being a dad myself. I never thanked them enough and truthfully I should have paid more attention when they were teaching me.
"Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching. They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck." (Proverbs 1:8-9)
The next series of thoughts that came to me were along similar lines but they were all focused on my Heavenly Father. It made me think of where I am with God. Am I that enthusiastic child in awe of everything He has done? Or, am I kind of like that teenager that has started taking things for granted and stops wanting to be impressed by anyone other than myself or something of this world? Have I gotten to a point where I don’t think that my Father can impress me? Thankfully, I haven’t gotten to that point but, I know that there are times when I feel that I have all the answers; that I know it all; I don’t need my Father; He doesn’t know me or understand me! Sadly, I’ve thought all of those thoughts about my dad and my Father. God does know me. He knows you. He knows us like he knew Jeremiah when He said “Before I formed you in your mother’s womb I knew you.” (Jeremiah 1:5). I do need my Father. Always.
So where am I going with this? Be like a child for God. Have that youthful passion and exuberance and always be amazed by what God is doing in your life. I understand that as Christians we are supposed to mature and not be like infants but I started to think about what Jesus was saying in the gospel of Mark.
He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them. (Mark 10:14-16)
Remember what it is like to have your children run into your arms when you get home from work, or a long trip, or, in my lovely bride’s case, a trip out to the car in the driveway. Or maybe think back to when you were the one running to a parent’s arms and how great it felt when they picked you up and held you in their arms. And know that God is waiting for us to run into His arms with a love that we can’t possibly imagine. I have a Father that has separated me from my sins, as far as the east is from the west. He did that for me through Jesus. So maybe I have to get over myself, my pride, my regrets, my past and run to Him. He knows me and despite all of my shortcomings, He loves me anyway.
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)
Is there something holding you back from running to God? Have you become “too old” to act like a child and be amazed by your Father? Do you need to feel that comforting love that only He can give? Run to Him! He is waiting…
My son has a favorite stuffed animal. It goes everywhere with him. In the car. To the store, the park, to Grandma's house. When he is scared or scrapes his knee, that stuffed animal is there to comfort him. He may need me too, but that little animal is what calms and soothes him. One look at this bedraggled stuffed animal and you know it is well loved; precious in the eyes of my little boy.
When my son fell the other day and hurt his arm, he reached for that animal, and it got me thinking. As adults, we don't have a favorite stuffed animal to comfort us (at least most of us don't-if you do, its ok! no judging here!). So, if not a stuffed animal, what do we cling to when we are scared or hurt? What do we reach for in the dark and lonely places? When everything around us seems foreign and chaotic, where do we turn?
Do we turn to worldly things? Or is Jesus our safe haven in the storm? And if in our fear, and in our tears, we turn to Him, what is it that we are looking for? Are we looking for peace, and comfort? Consider how a child chooses one stuffed animal they love above the rest. One they take with them EVERYWHERE and sleep with EVERY night, while many of their other stuffed animals are kept on the shelf or in a bin, brought out only once in a while. If I had given my son one of those other stuffed animals when he hurt his arm, would it have comforted him the same as his favorite one? No, it would not have. We make a similar choice with Jesus. Do we only take Him off the shelf on special days? Do we only want to admire Him from afar? Do we not want to "dirty" Him? We can then ask ourselves if we would find more comfort in a unknown or a known God? A known God of course! But in order to know God, we must have a relationship with Him! Luckily, Jesus is waiting for just that! He wants us to cling to Him in ALL moments. He wants to get dirty. He is ok with being pulled through the mud of our lives. He desires to be that "stuffed animal" we reach for in the dark. He wants to sit next to us while we expierence life's blessings, and then be there to provide peace when we need reassurance.
When we build a relationship with Him, what greater joy we will find in his embrace! How can we receive all He has to give us if we haven't built a relationship with Him to know what it is He is offering us?
So hold him tight. EVERYDAY. Through EVERYTHING. Put Him next to you in the car. Take Him to the store. Celebrate with Him. Cry with Him. Talk to Him and listen to Him. Grab Him in your fear. He CAN handle it.
Whatever is happening in your life, he can get you through it. You just need to take him off the shelf. Get Him a little dirty. He is longing be loved by you; tattered in your need for Him, matted in your trust. The comfort you will find will be far greater than that of anything in this world. And will be far grander than if you had kept him on that shelf.
"I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me." Proverbs 8:17
I would love to hear how you seek to keep Jesus close!!
Wife. Mother. Writer. Photographer. Child of God. Encouraging others in faith through a lens of grace and seeing beauty in the ashes.
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