This weekend we got to spend some time with our grandson August. We were at an annual car show and parts swap meet and he was being such a help. Helping with his little brother Axel and then helping us with stuff around our space. When it came time to pack up he was helping put things away and taking trash to the dumpster. Just being a good boy. But in between all of his help he was over at the raffle table probably every twenty minutes checking to see if he had won anything. My son bought him some raffle tickets and August was hoping for that beach cruiser bike. He kept coming over to us and asking, when is the drawing for the bike? Do you think I'll win the bike, nana? Nana, cross your fingers that I will win. It was so sweet watching him; oh how he wanted to win that bike. As it came time to pack up and leave, Jim and I had to drive a car over to our shop and them come back for the truck and then head home. The drawing was supposed to take place while we were gone. As I drove off, watching him look at that bike I prayed, "Jesus, please let August get that bike, just to let him know what a good boy he has been." We got back and they had not given the bike away yet; as we walked up to August, they were going to draw the ticket. They called what color ticket. It was not the color of August's ticket. But I don't think he understood that. He still had that look of anticipation and hope on his face. Then they started calling out the numbers on the winning ticket. Finally a lady walked over and said "Can I have that little boy August come up please". We had no idea what was going on. August walked up and she said, "I watched this sweet boy come up every 15 minutes or so to check on the raffle prizes and that bike. He was so sweet I had to buy tickets for him, hoping he would win. So this bike is for August." Man, I started crying and laughing at the same time. What an amazing thing that woman did. What an amazing God to put that on her heart. August did get that bike and now he will have a testimony for the rest of his life. Oh, how God loves to just bless us.
Oh, to be like a kid again! To believe that God loves us, to believe that He wants to bless us, to believe that He watches over all that we do. In the bible, Jesus says that we are to be as children. Matthew 19:14, "One day children were brought to Jesus in the hope that he would lay hands on them and pray over them. The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus intervened: “Let the children alone, don’t prevent them from coming to me. God’s kingdom is made up of people like these.” (AMP) And again in Matthew 18:2-4, "And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." (ESV) Children have such a trust, such a willingness to believe the best. The joyful things in life mean so much and when the hurts and boo-boos come, they roll with the punches, wipe their tears and then go and play again. They are filled with hope and expectation, believing that good gifts await them on Christmas morning and that their parents are the most amazing people in the world. They are filled with wide-eyed wonder at a bug in the grass and see dogs and trains and airplanes in the shapes of the clouds. Fall means piles of leaves to jump into. They love to see their daddy smile and hate to see their mama cry. They revel in playing in the spray of the garden hose and can't wait to catch snow flakes on their tongue. A popsicle is the pinnacle of delights and a make-shift tent in the living room is the place of adventure and fantasy.
The older we get the less we believe. Trust, I don't trust anyone, everyone is out for themselves. And believing the best? Don't you know the cup is half empty and someone spit in it? The joyful things are fewer and farther between and the hurts seem to be never ending. Our only hope is that the weekend will come quickly and all we expect is that Monday will come even quicker. Christmas means credit card bills and toys to be assembled and our parents are the reason we are the way we are, it is all their fault. Bugs in the grass, call pest control; and clouds, well that means rain and crud, we just washed the car. Fall means piles of leaves to rake up and bag. Now I'm the daddy, and when do I have time to smile, and mama cries at the drop of a hat. The garden hose just means more yard work to be done and snow melts and makes a muddy mess. I can't afford a nice dinner out, let alone dessert and the only fantasy I have anymore is that I could be a kid again.
There is one place that we can be that child again. We can have that childlike faith in our heavenly daddy. We can trust that He loves us, that He watches out for us. That He always has His best in mind for us. We can be like August and expectantly run up to Him, saying "Daddy, what do you have for me?" "Daddy, I love you." "Daddy, can I have a hug?" We have a Father who delights in us, who delights to give us good things; He gave His Son for us after all. I love what Zephaniah 3:17 says, "He will rejoice over you with great gladness; he will love you and not accuse you.” Is that a joyous choir I hear? No, it is the Lord himself exulting over you in happy song." (TLB) Have you even sung to your children, to your grandchildren? That feeling is like a soft, mushy cloud, enveloping you and filling you with love and joy and a peace that is amazing. That is how He feels about us! And that barely even describes the extent of His love for us. This mighty, all powerful, infinite God; looks on us with delight. The One who formed the mountains and made beautiful rock gardens and ponds to play in, He takes joy in us. The Creator who placed every star and planet, who formed every grain of sand, He is elated with us. Exultant, ecstatic, jubilant over us! And all He wants in return is for us to be like that little child, running to Him with our arms open wide and say "Daddy, pick me up!"
For those of us who didn't have that relationship with an earthly parent, that is hard to understand. It is hard to picture a parent just loving us, being there, holding us. But believe me, God is not your mom or dad. He is the One who wants to show you the love that you may have never felt before. He wants to hold you in His arms and sing over you. He wants to cherish you and love you and once a while just spoil you.
I remember a time when Jim and I had just come back to the Lord. We had walked away for some time.
That is when our marriage failed. After repenting and returning to Him we were in a place of such delight with Him. Just enjoying our relationship with Him. Seeking Him daily, reading His word, walking in His will. In the midst of all this we were blessed with a car that there is no way we could have afforded. A Jaguar V-12. Granted it needed work, but even then we were blessed with finding people who had parts we could afford and Jim got that car up and running beautifully. I remember one day he was driving home, into our cruddy little mobile home park and he started crying. I was startled and asked what was going on. He said he couldn't understand why God would give him that car. And I said, because He loves you and just wanted to bless you.
Child of God, He loves you. He wants to bless you. He wants you to revel in His love just as He revels in your love for Him. He wants you to trust Him, to look to Him for the answers, to run to Him in your need. He wants you to come to Him with your joys, with your boo-boos, with all that you are and all that you have. He wants you to delight in life again. To lay down those heavy burdens and let Him care for you. He wants you to believe like a child again and trust that daddy will take care of you. He wants you to remember that you are His. Oh, you can be that kid again!