Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Not Obligated

My dad fixes everything.  

My husband fixes everything.  

This is how they show their love.  Dull knives get sharpened, squeaky hinges get oiled, loose screws get tightened.  It's what they do.  It's one of the things I love about them!

The little one once said, "Dad has all the tricks that work."  She and her siblings have never worried a day in their life that broken things can't be fixed.  Of course they can!  Dad will do it.  We should have shares in the super glue company by now, he's fixed so many broken things...

I know this could sound like utopia to some.  Trust me, I'm thankful.  I've lost sleep thinking of how utterly incompetent I am to live life without them (but that's a topic for another post).

I understand faithfulness.  

It's not hard for me to believe that God can be counted on to help, to take care of things, to fix the messes we make.

Guess what?  Even with such faithful men to model His love, I still have lots to learn about His nature.  You-know-who will use any means possible to rob us of the joy of Papa's love.

It came to me as a total surprise that Papa God delights in me.  As in, dancing-and-singing-over-you-with-joy delight.

When I unpacked that revelation I realized that I'd been thinking God was faithful to me out of obligation rather than affection.  Unconsciously I believed His thoughts went something like this:  "Of course I'll forgive you, *sigh*, it's what I do because I'm good.  Of course, I'll help you, *sigh*, it's my nature to do it so I must.  *Sigh*."  

In my heart of hearts I believed I was God's duty.

It's such a wild and crazy, hugely breathtaking thought, that I can hardly type it out loud, but it's such good news that I have to say it, "He delights in me!  He delights in you!"

Not because He has to.  Because He wants to.  

Not because of anything you did or didn't do, but just because you're you--His kid.

"He will rejoice over you with great gladness...He will exult over you by singing a happy song."  (Zeph 3:17 NLT)

"I looked forward to your calling me 'Father'."  (Jeremiah 3:19 NLT)

"You are safe in the care of the Lord your God, secure in His treasure pouch."  (1 Sam. 25:29 NLT)

"Now you are my friends...I chose you."  (John 15:15-16 NLT)

The more I learn of His love, the more I love Him!  If I don't share, I might burst!  ;-)

We, though, are going to love - love and be loved.
 First we were loved, now we love. 
He loved us first.

1 John 4:19 MSG