"Someone who knows what Christ has done for him will live confidently in the present..." Dr. Kim Riddlebarger - senior pastor of Christ Reformed Church
" The Lord says, 'Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.' " Jeremiah 31:3
When my nephew was four years old his mom and I were sitting on the front porch visiting while he was running about the yard in abandoned play. Suddenly he stopped, looked at his mom, ran over to her, placed his scratched dirt-stained arms on her lap, looked up into her face and exclaimed with joy: "Here I am, Mommy, the little boy that you love!"
Now my nephew did no good deed worthy enough to illicit the response he got. He did not clean his room, or feed the dog without being told. He did not finish his breakfast or remember to brush his teeth. In fact, he came to his mother having done nothing but enjoy the sunny day, and he came dirty. But my sister took her little boy, wrapped him in her arms, smothered him with kisses and enthusiastically replied: "Yes! Yes! You are the little boy I love!" Strengthened and refreshed by those kisses, he straightened himself up and ran off to play, secure in loving and being loved.
Do you see the message from God in this? God doesn't need for us to come all cleaned up first. Our Father doesn't need to hear our list of good deeds and bad deeds. He already knows and loved us anyway. Remember Romans 5:8? "But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners (dirty, scratched up hearts), Christ died for us."
I have issues. I start beating myself up because I don't pray enough for people. I didn't remember to call "so and so". I didn't empathize with someone's pain. I didn't do my devotions today. I should be organizing "this or that". Then I feel like a failure to God. I must stop this negative thinking and like my nephew just come! Come to Jesus. Come as I am. Just speak to Him about how awesome His love for me is and tell Him I love Him. Doesn't that simplify it?
Tomorrow before your feet hit the floor running, before your mind begins to list the things that need to be done, before the coffee is perked or the baby is changed, pause and lift up your voice: "Here I am, Father, the little girl that you love!" Then we, too, can straighten ourselves up; secure in loving and being loved.