I couldn’t help but think of this quote from John Piper, while I was watching my kids play in the ocean last weekend. They’re still too young for me to let them body surf etc, but I told them that I would let them go out with me and “jump” the waves. I made the game up on the spot, just knowing how much little kids and especially boys enjoy jumping, period. Bravo! It was a hit! As each wave would come rolling in we would all jump them in unison, sometimes falling down into the water which made it even more fun, and other times jumping them simultaneously and laughing together for no apparent reason. I stood there in delight watching them play in the waves, proud to be their father and grateful that they even enjoy being in my presence. After a while they were having so much fun that they became oblivious to my presence. The thought came across my mind…….. Is this how God sees us?
We had decided to take a quick two day vacation to the beach. The idea was to give the kids a vacation of their own. My oldest son had just graduated from kindergarten and finished with very good marks from his teacher, and my middle son was just getting ready to start his first year of school. So, we wanted to celebrate them all (including their youngest brother) for being great kids – most of the time. LOL. As with any parent, you love your kid(s), first and foremost for simply being whom they are, your kids. But, there is an even deeper love and admiration that comes when they faithfully follow your instruction, and are satisfied in doing it.
As a parent, one of the most valuable life lessons that I’ve learned thus far is that there are few things that bring more joy then to simply watch your kids play together, laugh and enjoy each other’s company. It’s a difficult feeling to describe, and maybe, I’m speaking for myself, but I’m not sure I can put into words how much joy it brings to observe them when they are so happy. Moreover, it’s caused me to reflect in a more thoughtful way on the parent – children relationship. More specifically, how it may mirror the way God – “the Father” see us. Wow! Maybe I’m a late bloomer in understanding how these two relate, but this is the type of material that I feel only comes about through revelation by the Holy Spirit. Who has the ability to even teach us through life experiences that we otherwise couldn’t ever fully (still not to it’s max – 1 Corinthians 12) comprehended by reading and studying the scriptures alone.
However, there are scriptures that support the idea. As I pondered that while watching my kids play in the waves that day along with John Piper’s quote, a few verses came to me:
Psalm 149:4 – “For the Lord takes delight in his people;
he crowns the humble with victory.
5 Let his faithful people rejoice in this honor
and sing for joy on their beds.”
Romans 8:14 – “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.[f] And by him we cry, “Abba,[g] Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs —heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”
Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Come with me for a moment (imagine) and envision a God who sits on high, watching all of his children. Imagine the way that he must look at us in delight, not because of our righteousness, but simply pleased by those who follow his commands, who diligently seek him, and who find joy in the fruit of the spirit. I wonder if the sliver of joy that we may witness by just watching our kids (really God’s) when they are satisfied can even compare to the joy that God must feel as he watches us from Heaven. When he looks at his creation, especially those who do his will and are satisfied in it, what feelings does he have toward his creation? If we were ultimately created to glorify him, imagine how much joy it brings him when we find our joy in him. Perhaps God is most glorified (which satisfies him) in us, when we are most satisfied in him. And, as one of his children it’s reassuring to know that he may view me in the same way that I look at my own children.