Today’s topic is the joy of children. Just a week or so ago we dropped our oldest son off for college, and the whole experience was divine for many reasons.
There was a peace that we had done the right thing, that he had found the right school, and that he was in the right place. And that was cool, to be able to celebrate that as a parent. When we’re younger, we always kind of struggle with our faith, but as we get older, there is this greater understanding of who God is and of how He loves us and of how He takes care of us as we mature. But I think one of the biggest things that happens as we get to be parents, and as we raise our own children, we begin to understand the love of a father or mother and how that love then extends to us and how through that love, we can experience God. But in our own way, we almost understand the way that God loves us in the way that we love our children.
Zephaniah 3:17 says, “The Lord your God is with you. He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you. He will quiet you with His love. He will rejoice over you with singing.” And it’s just such a beautiful picture of a father who’s so excited and so in love with His children. This really hit home when I look at a picture of my son Clayton first when he was going off to kindergarten and then a picture from his senior year.
And just when I look over this picture, I’m filled with joy. I’m rejoicing. I have memories that come flooding in of all the wonderful things of who he is and what he does. And so when I look at the scriptures, “He will take great delight in you. He will quiet you with his love. He will rejoice over you with singing.” Do you realize that the same way that I look at a picture of my son, the same way that you look at your children, is exactly how God looks at you? Can you see that? Can you believe that? I think that’s something that we often miss and we lose as we get older. We feel alone or we feel frustrated or we feel anxious about where we are and we miss the point that God is rejoicing over us, that He loves us so deeply and even if we’re far away from Him, all He’s wanting is us to come back and to have a relationship with him.
We’ve been away from my son for less than a week now, and I’m already excited about when he comes back. Our heavenly father is feeling exactly the same way about each of us. About you. He’s rejoicing over you. He’s thinking good thoughts about you. He’s loving you, but and He’s ready for you to come back.
When you look at your parent child relationship, as much as you love your children, are you extending the same grace to yourself when it comes to God? Are you beating yourself up when you don’t need to be? Understand that God loves you more than you love your own children and again, He’s rejoicing over you, He’s celebrating you in this time of just realizing how hard things are and knowing that each day is a struggle with the emotions and everything that’s going on. We’ve got an intense election. We’ve got this uncertainty of the virus, such polarizing positions, just everything that’s going on. Can we find joy in the love of our father?
We can experience God’s joy in our own love for our children and in this awareness that what we’re seeking is better stories. We may be living a good life, but a better life is found when we intentionally seek out transformation, when we go out and say, “You know what, I’m here today, but I want to be there tomorrow, and what do I intentionally need to do today to be transformed?” Read Zephaniah 3:17 today and remember and believe that God rejoices in and over you; just like you do your own children. What joy that should bring us to be beloved children of God.