My sister and I are staying with my grandsons for eight days while their mom and dad are in England laying the groundwork for their move later this year. This time is a treasure for me, but let’s face it – there is a lot I have forgotten since raising my own boys. I especially forgot the amount of energy that is required to keep up with a four and six-year-old, and the extreme organization that is required!
Thankfully, Nikki has everything written out for me – morning routine, after-school routine, pick-up and drop-off routine, lunch boxes, when the Easter eggs are due at both schools, what to wear for picture day (did they have to schedule it the week mom is gone?), bus stop, bath, bed and story routine. There is so much to do!
The boys are good at their routines. They know what is expected and where they need to be. Jake knows how to get everywhere (it’s good to have one’s own personal GPS), and Matty is always up for the ride.
However, as wonderful as the boys are, they are excellent at “not hearing” me. I think most children are pros when it comes to tuning out the voice of authority trying to get their attention.
While this “not hearing” is phenomenally frustrating, it is also very precious to me. Yes, precious. Oh, it’s not that I enjoy calling to them over and over and over to get their attention, it is that it shows me exactly how God sees me.
Oswald Chambers says something to the effect, “If you want to know what God thinks about you, look at the people he brings around you.” This week, the week before Easter, the Lord has brought me two little boys with selective hearing. This is how God sees me? Absolutely!
“Marcia, Marcia, Maaarrrccciiiaaa! Please stop running so far ahead of me!”
“Marcia, Marcia, Maaarrrccciiiaaa! Please hold my hand, this is a dangerous area.”
The reality is – I cannot change the hearts of these little boys. I can punish and I can discipline, but I cannot change them. I am a voice that comes to them from the outside – and outside authority simply demands compliance.
Only God can change hearts. God speaks to his children from the inside; he changes us from the inside out. He speaks to our hearts and we hear him. There is no way on earth that we don’t, or can’t, hear him. However, just like little children, we go to great lengths to pretend we don’t – to ignore what we know we have heard.
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” – James 1:22 NIV
And then, there are times when the boys are so sweet, loving and cuddly. Right out of the blue I will hear, “I love you, Yaya!”
Oh, melt my heart! Let me bend over backward to show you how much I love you!
Does God see me like this? Yes. Sometimes my heart is so full of love for God that I can’t help but declare it to him. And when I do, I know that he is always bending over backward to show me how loved I am. He showed me when Jesus died on the cross.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8 NIV
There is another person God surrounded me with this week – my sister, Betty. She is here to help me. She sticks by my side. She is the one who helps me with the boys every step of the way. She plays ball, digs in the dirt, helps with the bedtime routine, empties the dishwasher and wisely makes the coffee before I roll out of bed. She is a priceless gift to me.
Does God see me that way? As someone who is invaluable? Someone who is worthy of his love? He must. He spoke me into existence, he breathed life into me, he called me, and he saved me.
“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.” – Ephesians 1:4-6 NIV
This Easter week, I am humbled to think that my God died for me. Jesus, the Eternal Word, stepped out of heaven, lived a wholly righteous life as a fully human man, died on a cross, in my place, as my substitute, so that I might live.
On the third day Jesus rose from the dead, appeared to hundreds over the next forty days and then ascended to heaven where he lives to intercede for me. He didn’t leave me alone either; the Holy Spirit, my Helper, is here with me enabling me to do all that God calls me to do.
I can hear my God speak and I can do what he asks me to do. I don’t have to pretend I don’t hear him. I don’t have to be afraid that he might ask me to do something I am not able to do.
Who has God brought around you lately? Could it be that God is trying to show you what he is seeing in you? Is it time to let God change you from the inside out?
This Easter week, will you remember your great salvation? It is more than simply not going to hell when you die; you have been saved by God to live a holy life for God, and he will tell you what to do, and how to do it, if you will only listen. Will you?