Not long ago I blogged about my experience as a father, its joys and disappointments, and how they re-frame my thinking about our Heavenly Father and his relationship to humanity. This past Sunday I was given a taste of the overwhelming joy that I spoke of before.
Our small church has a number of children, and it is always fun to watch them interact with one another as they go to children’s church following the scripture readings. This week, I was already deep in thought and writing furiously in my journal as my wife got up to take Janna back with the other children to their room behind the pulpit. Just before the door closed, with Janna and mommy going through last, as we were about to begin prayer, Janna popped her head around to look right at me with a big grin, and then did the funniest thing. She lifted her little arm in the air, began to wave furiously, and yelled “Bye, bye, Daddy!”
In that moment, I was yanked from my thoughts and immersed in a euphoria I can’t quite explain in words. I felt completely loved. I was to be missed. After the laughter subsided and I managed to choke down the tears rising in my throat, I began to reflect on what I said before about how God must experience true pleasure when one of his chilrden responds to him with genuine loving affection.
I think I am beginning to understand how it is that a shepherd missing a single sheep leave all the others behind and goes looking for that one. And upon finding the lost sheep, he rejoices. It all makes sense now. And yet this concept is so profound.
If the genuine love of one child brings this much joy to a broken, human heart mired by sin, how much more does the genuine love of a multitude of God’s children bring joy to him?
So I urge you. Whatever it takes for you to break any patterns of unfaithfulness to God. Whatever it takes for you to reorient your focus upon him. Do it now!
Love powerfully, as you have been loved!