Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Children, Come Running!

So for the last few weeks I've had the chance to spend time playing with my professor's little girl while she teaches a class, and I'll tell you, if you don't have a four-year-old in your life, go find one! Seriously, it'll change your life. The other day was the absolute sweetest! I hadn't seen this little girl in a week, and Monday morning I'm walking through the lobby on my way to class. She saw me from across the room, got this big smile on her face, and just came running into my arms. It was precious! And yeah, it does make me feel loved and valued. I'm not going to lie. But the bigger thing, honestly, is that I can see her so ready to receive my love. Being around her brings me such joy, and she doesn't even realize it. She's not trying to make me happy. She just does, and her willingness to receive my love and just be who she is is her greatest blessing to me... go figure.

It gets me thinking about my relationship with God. I spend so much time running in so many different directions, trying to give God something... as if He needs anything I could give to feel loved and valuable. But, I mean, really? And I love that about kids. They don't spend all their time trying, striving for a way to earn their keep. They just receive, and as they receive, they get to know the giver and that's where their outpourings of affection stream from. They're not trying to prove anything. They're not trying to save the world or make everything perfect. They simply respond in the sweetest kind of freedom. And when I see this little girl running toward me, I realize that it is no sacrifice for me to love her. It is pure joy, and so it is with God. Even as I type this, my fingers move slowly, taking in every word, struggling to wrap my mind around it.

God takes great joy in just loving me and watching me, regardless of whether I always obey, even if I get a little messy. He loves to love me... and you!

It is that love that He so freely lavishes on me that stirs excitement in my heart and causes me to run into His arms. And He bends to receive me with great joy. I'm not sure when things change and we start to think we need to give to God and work at loving Him. I don't know when we decided we needed to be refined adults and stop running into His arms. I want to get back to that. Where I'm at right now, feeling so busy and so far from where I should be with the Lord, I need to remember that He sees something inexplicably beautiful in me and just watching me warms His heart. He loves me, and He loves loving me! It's no sacrifice. That is finished. He simply loves. My pursuit of Him. My running joyfully abandoned into His arms. These are free responses to the love I receive. It just happens, and my willingness to receive His love and let it transform me into who I really am is my greatest blessing to Him... go figure.

Maybe that's why Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me." They were drawn by His love, and it was His joy to pour it out on them. He loves to love His children, regardless of what we have or lack, whether we are weak or strong, full of faith or full of doubt. Now, may we lay down everything that hinders us and run into His arms!


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