But her playfulness is the same as that of any other happy toddler.
I send her the sternest look I can muster in the face of those ringlets, cheeks, blue eyes, and electric smile. My index finger firmly pets the air upward, coding the urgent message: come here.
She knows what that means. I know she knows what that means because she smiles wider, scrunches her nose, and hightails it the other way.
I have no other choice. I have to go after her.
So, as my daughter climbs the scarlet stairs up to the altar, and her father delivers an impassioned sermon about one of the "Unusual Suspects" Christ called to be a fisher of men, I cast my line. She knows I've almost got her, so she does what she always does. She stops, squeezes her eyes shut, pulls her arms to her chest, her hands to her neck, and laughs. She braces herself for impact. I haul in a whopper of a girl. And I want to be mad, I really do. I just can't.
Sometimes in the waiting, we want to brace ourselves for impact- for whatever God has planned for us. And that really is so good. Except, we forget Who we're dealing with. God is mighty, sure. But God is also love.
So, we picture God's big plan as rocking our world. Entering earth's atmosphere.
We see the hard, and miss the heart.
We forget. God's biggest impact is always always always made by love.
That's how He created us. That's how He saved us. Every single time, God impacts us with His love, in His love.
Bracing is a natural instinct of ours to prepare for what's to come, so what if we prepared to be loved in a big way? I mean, a really big way. Today.
Would it open our eyes to the love impacts He makes on us every moment, every breath of our day, until even our breaths are blaring testimonies to the love of our Great God?
His love is amazing, persistent, gritty, beautiful, constant, and it is with you now. It isn't just a feeling. It's a guarantee that the Lord will work in your life in a way that is consistent with His character. Will it be hard? Probably.
But hard is bearable when His heart is what's bearing you up.
We've read the lines. Heard them sung and spoken. But what if we heard and saw 1st Corinthians 13:4-10 in action today? As God speaking them to us...
I am patient and kind to you, Beloved.
I will not compare you to others, or wish you to be more like them.
I will not belittle you or make you feel worthless in my sight.
I am God over all, but I say and do nothing out of cruelty toward you.
My plan is right, but that doesn't mean I am closed off to hearing your plans and pleas in prayer. Talk to me!
My anger is always just, and always aimed at that which is separating my children from me-
You won't find Me to just be cranky like a human.
I don't hold grudges. When I say you are forgiven- You are forgiven.
I find no delight in the sins of man. The things that have hurt you- I've seen them all and they do not please Me.
I rejoice with all the heavenly host when one sinner repents, and comes to the truth.
That includes you.
There is nothing you can you do, say, or endure that I cannot bear, and will not bear, for you.
Just look at the cross.
I know for a fact the power within My grasp, so when I tell you that all things work together for the good of those who love Me- believe it. Put your hope in me. No matter what you endure. I'm there with you throughout it all.
I will never, ever stop working on your behalf. I will never stop showing you love. When the days get long and things get too hard- remember that all of this will be gone someday soon. The good stuff and the bad. What will remain is our love forever. When you cling to My love, you cling to something eternal- doesn't that reveal just how much stronger it is than your present circumstances?
Praying God impacts you with His love today. The love that created the world. The love that traded His robe of glory for human flesh. The love that nailed Him to the cross and kept Him there until it was finished. The love that resurrected that third day and reigns in your heart.
Brace yourself. He's about to make an impact:)
I would love to hear how God has impacted your day, and your life in real ways! It is always so exciting to see how personally He chooses to relate His love to each one of us. The magnitude and creativity of our loving God is just amazing!
Linking up with Simply Beth at Three Word Wednesday today! For more posts on three incredible words, just click the button and get reading. Or think of your own three words and link up with us!