Tuesday, December 25, 2018

God as Sweet Little Baby

God entered into our physical world as a baby.

Nobody feels threatened by a little baby.  They feel drawn to a baby, energized by a baby's soft little touch or hug, and they feel that baby's smile just lighting up their world!  Making everything feel so soft and cozy and warm and inviting and safe.  Maybe being with a little baby brings us back to the place where we ourselves felt safe and secure in our own mother's arms as she sang and rocked us to sleep. I feel that when God came to us, coming as He did as a sweet little baby, He was coming to bring us back to a cozy, homey, safe and happy place, safe in His loving arms forever!

God came as a baby.

Why did He come like that?

God came as the most lovable, innocent, sweet and non-threatening being you could imagine - a newborn baby, a little tiny baby!

He didn't come in judgment or harshness or anger or force, Ge came in vulnerability, gentleness, purity and openness.  Imagine the friendly eyes of a baby looking into your own eyes!  Imagine the pure love and sweetness in an infant as that darling baby looks towards you and can't take its eyes off yours!

When God wanted to reveal Himself to us in our world, He wrapped Himself in the soft folds of baby skin and came to us.  He came in pure kindness, in sweetness, in friendliness, in grace. 

A baby couldn't harm anyone.  He came to show us He means us no harm.  Love does no harm.  He came to show us He loves us, He just loves us, He ONLY loves us.  That His plans are always good, to give us hope and a future, NEVER to harm us or hurt us. 

A baby has no agenda.  God came to show He has no agenda from us. He doesn't want anything from us.  He's not exacting, demanding, or pushy.  He is good and kind.  He just wants to be our friend.

A baby is non-threatening.  God wants us to know we are in a safe place with Him.  Safe in His arms.  "God is a safe place to be," as the Message Bible so beautifully says.  We are safe with Him.  Secure and wrapped in love.

A baby is endearing.  God is so endearing.  So attractive and sweet!  He is the most delightful, happy-making, smile-bringing being we could ever meet!  All He does is bring laughter and joy and delight, just like a baby's laugh brings delight to us when we hear it!

A baby is innocent and pure.  God is so pure.  There's no dark side to Him.  His words, actions and ways with us have to hidden agenda.  He wants nothing from us, loves with no expectations or conditions, gives asking nothing in return.  He is simply pure light in a radiance of love for us, pure joy in His delight with us, pure grace in His generosity towards us, pure cherishing in His care for us.

A baby is lovable.  Vulnerable.  Open and friendly.  Sweet and gentle.  Soft and pure.  A delight and a joy.  A treasure.  God is all these things and more!  Our God is so lovable, gentle and soft.  He's so delightful and fun and happy.  He such a treasure!

He came as a baby to bring us a smile, a hope, a joy, a life better than we ever had without knowing Him.  Parents often say they couldn't imagine their life without their baby in it.  We can't imagine our life without Him who is everything to us, the One that makes life worth living again, the One who brings joy back in the midst of tears, the One whose love rescues us from our fearful places and makes us laugh and smile again, makes life feel light again, makes us come to rest and feel everything is okay and hopeful again. 

A baby is the expectation for new life, for long and happy life, for a beautiful future.  God gives us that same hope and expectation.  He lets us know this world isn't all there is.  There is another world, and we'll live there in happiness and joy with Him forever.  And this time, we'll get to be the babies!  We're God's babes, His little children, and we'll be with our heavenly Dad forever. 

God came as a baby so we could know that we are always His little babies, always safe in His arms, forever and ever!

Merry Christmas to us all, with all blessings of the love and peace and joy that are truly ours as His dear little babies, His treasured and precious children!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Everyday Grace

Today I went for a walk in the woods behind our house.  I love to walk in these woods.  Today there was a little squirrel in a tree who caught my eye.  He looked at me and I looked at him, and we were just staring at each other for a  moment.  In that moment the wind blew my hair away from my face.  The world seemed peaceful.  It was a quiet moment, just the squirrel and I enjoying a look at each other.

I think the joy of life is often in those little moments.  I feel those are moments of everyday grace.  Little ways that the loving presence of God just breaks into our world and our little life and just makes us feel special. 
A thought comes to mind - "new every morning."  His grace is new every morning, fresh for that day,  everyday grace to bring us through, to break into our lives, to give us joy, to let us know He is there and He is taking care of us, loving us, smiling at us.

I have a little quote on a card in my kitchen that says, "Thank Him for all the ways He breaks through this world to send you flowers."  God breaks through.  Grace breaks through.  He is always there, grace is always there, love is always there, though we don't always see it, feel it, know it.  He breaks through in everyday grace to let us see and know and feel that we are loved, life is special, He is here.

Thank you Father for those moments of everyday grace!

On Billy Graham..

I heard of Billy Graham's passing into heaven today, and it made me want to share something about the love of God here.

Years ago when our son was born, we gave him the middle name of Graham after Billy Graham.  Only later did we learn that our son's birthday is only two day's from Billy Graham's birthday.  It was special to know that, and I am glad our son has always had such a godly person to be an example for him.

I am thankful for Billy Graham's message of love, grace, forgiveness, kindness and brotherliness.  He was a great example of humility and graciousness.  He was so willing to admit his mistakes and able to share openly about his regrets, such as how he wished he'd spent more time with his children while they were growing up instead of being away so much on crusades.  I love how he admitted his faults and yet was okay with himself for not being perfect, and was gracious with other imperfect people - which includes all of us!

He just exuded peace.  He was so at peace with himself, others, God, and life.  He lived life so simply, just walking with God in simple trust, like a child, knowing his Father would take care of everything.  He was at peace about the future, about death.  He was sure of the beautiful heaven awaiting him, sure of God being there to embrace him. 

He was so simply in way he just lived as a regular old person walking with God.  You could tell how much he loved to just be with God. 

I read that his grandson went to visit him one night in a city where he was meeting some big leaders and wondered if he would find him in his hotel room on the night of the meetings.  When he knocked on the hotel room door, Billy answered in his pajamas, and the grandson caught a glimpse of an open Bible on the bed in the hotel room.  When he could have been out socializing or meeting with big national leaders, Billy Graham chose instead to have a quiet evening with God.  I love that and think it really shows what kind of man he was.

Billy Graham wasn't perfect and wouldn't want to be idolized or even focused on.  And I think that is the whole point and gives hope for all of us.  We are all just regular people that God loves.  We don't have to be great.  We don't have to be perfect.  We are simply loved as we are and our Father loves to just be there with us sharing life together and letting us know He's taking care of everything and will bring us home safely.  He's always shining the beauty of the spiritual realm of His LOVE into our lives, our everyday, common, ordinary lives as regular old people!

I love how Billy said that when he died, he would be more alive than ever!  It makes me glad to think of heaven and how joyful Rev. Graham is now, how well and whole, immersed in love, fully alive and fully in God's presence!  And that is what we all have to look forward to!  I am so thankful for that!

May the amazing grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, and the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. 2 Co. 13:14