Today’s pre-service prayer included thinking about Jesus standing right next to us. My good friend, who led the prayer time, read from the 23rd psalm. What a great picture of God’s care for us, providing grass, refreshing water to drink and a place to rest. He anoints my head with oil; my cup runs over…
Even more than that, the Lord impressed upon me how much He delights in us. He made us. He designed each one of us. Our hair color, our eyes shape and tint, our height (or lack thereof). He influenced all of that. Yes, He used our parents’ genetic makeup to get a blueprint. But even that, friends, was His plan. He loves our laugh. He adores our smiles. We are, in short, the apple of His eye.
But do we believe it? I’ve spent most of my conscious life living under condemnation. I’ve written before about my especial affinity for self-flagellation. I should have gotten a merit badge for it by now. It’s that impressive.
Yet what a waste of time.
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. – Romans 8:1-2
Why do we keep living like God is going to swoop down with a heavenly fly swatter and give us a thunderous smackdown? “Take that, mangy human!” Jesus took all those for us, on the cross. If we repent, God forgives us. It takes very little – only surrender – to get back on track. At times, we may need to make restitution to those we’ve wronged, sure.
We, who are weak and sinful, know how to give our kids good gifts. We got Zac a new phone a couple years back. He was blown away. We got Ruby a sewing machine for Christmas. The kids felt blessed that we knew them enough to get them things they like and would put to use. Isn’t God so much more intimately acquainted with our needs and desires? Doesn’t it tickle Him to paint a technicolor sunrise each morning and send rain when its needed? Doesn’t He surprise us with friends dropping by when we need a lift? Or maybe a piece of really rich, dark chocolate to soothe our spirits?
If He is more than able to bless and load us with benefits on a daily basis, why don’t we trust His goodness? Perhaps our earthly fathers were, shall we say, less than patient with us. Maybe they yelled a lot. Maybe they withheld approval when it could have done the most good for our spirits.
God isn’t like that. He withholds no good thing. He has our best in mind each day, all the time. Let’s trust He will continue His good and perfect will for our lives.