It’s amazing to me how much God will teach me through my children. I am learning so much through them in this season of my life. While time often dulls and obscures memories, there are moments in my life that stand out in sharp clarity. I’m convinced that these are moments God burns into my memory because they are significant moments for me, pivotal moments. I had a moment like that some months back and the Lord won’t let me forget it. I’m so happy I’m finally getting an opportunity to share it!
I was rushing around getting things done in the house and my youngest had been following me, chatting and a little bit bored – kind of wanting to be entertained. We’ve all been there right? Of course my mind was on a million things and I wasn’t fully tuned into her. I needed a mental breather so I did what us moms often do. I came up with an activity to occupy her, so I could go get something done uninterrupted. I’m not even sure what I went to go do now. What I do remember clearly is getting out a coloring book and saying “I would love it if you would color me a special picture.” Well, she just jumped right on that in her big hearted way and told me how she was going to make it so special, etc.
I slipped away to get my projects done and a good bit later as I was in my bathroom putting on makeup she came in crying, just completely heartbroken. In her hand was the picture she had been working so hard on. In the process of removing it from the coloring book, a corner of the page had torn. She sobbed “I wanted it to be perfect mommy, and now it’s RUINED!” Of course what she didn’t know was now it was precious to me in a way it hadn’t been before. I realized she had poured herself into this coloring page, doing her best to convey her love to me. I wanted to cry with her because my heart hurt so much for her. I didn’t care that the page was torn. We taped it together and I told her I would always cherish it and for me it was never about it being a perfect picture but rather the love she put into it. And she went on to play, happy and content that her gift was worthy.
And then I heard that still small voice say, “Joanna, you’re just like her. You get so upset when you do something for me and it doesn’t turn out perfect. You see all of the little things that you think make it unworthy of me and feel you don’t measure up. For me it has never been about the specific thing you do for me but your heart…your heart full of love for me. I don’t look at what man looks at. My standards are different. I’m your father and just as your love for your daughter is not based on what she can give you but rather her position as your daughter, so my love is not based on what you can give me. And just like that, something was broken off of me – a chain I didn’t even know was wrapped around me, and I just sat there for a moment basking in that love.
Verses for Meditation
26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
4 What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. 2 The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. 3 So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world. 4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. 6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.
~ Galatians 3:26-4:7
14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
~ Romans 8:14-17
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
~ 1 John 3:1
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
~ Jeremiah 29:11
But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
~ Psalm 86:15
…who shows no partiality to princes and does not favor the rich over the poor, for they are all the work of his hands?
~ Job 34:19