meeting God at the changing table

I wrote this in my journal back in September, when our son Isaac was six weeks old. I was reading back over it and felt like I should share it. Hope God meets you with it like He met me, at the changing table (though maybe without the dirty diaper):

I was changing Isaac’s diaper the other day. He did that thing where he throws his arms out, scared and freaking out because he feels, I don’t know, exposed, cold, something.

So I gathered his arms and gently rested my hand on his torso and arms (the trunk of his body is still no bigger than my hand) and said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m right here. Daddy’s here. I love you. Daddy loves you Isaac. I won’t let anything happen to you. Don’t worry. You don’t have to be afraid of anything.

At that moment, I felt the presence of God like he was looking over my shoulder and breathing on my neck. The Lord said to me, “Yeah, that’s how I feel about you, my son. This is the same thing I have been telling you for so long.”

I found it hard to explain why my infant son was flailing about because there was no reason for it. He was laying perfectly safe and comfortable on a sturdy changing table with a soft cushion top. I was standing inches from him, handling him gently, completely taking care of him. He could not have been more secure. He didn’t feel that way. But he was.

How many times do I flail about with no more reason than Isaac had? My Father stands less than inches from me. I am perfectly safe and secure in His hands. My Father takes complete care of me, handles me gently and provides me with comfort and peace.

And yet I flail.

But even as I flail, my Father takes up my little arms, folds them onto my chest, and rests a gentle hand on my whole body, speaking words of love and reassurance to me.

Am I listening?

Are you listening?

Or are you flailing?

Father, thank You for continuing to speak Your words of love and peace and reassurance to us. Help us to hear You. Help us to feel Your loving touch on our fearful, flailing flesh. Thank you for loving your children.

The Pearl of Great Price Is – YOU!

In Matthew 13.44-46, Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”

I have always read this parable to mean that the kingdom of God is so valuable that I should be willing to sell everything and give everything up in order to get into the Kingdom. That is the reading that makes the most sense to me and I think it is one thing Jesus meant.

But I was just reading an email from a friend who is a missionary in – well, in a country that doesn’t allow them. Let’s leave it at that. Anyway, she wrote about dealing with this person who was irritating her but was also in need. God spoke to her clearly (I keep telling you this happens) and told my friend, “As irritating as that person is to you, to Me he is a pearl and I am willing to sell everything to get him for Myself.”

My friend thought (and I agree) that the Lord was alluding to these parables of Jesus, infusing them with a different, yet complementary meaning to what we normally make of them. The Kingdom of God is our pearl of great price, but at the same time we are God’s pearl of great price. We are called to give up everything to get the kingdom because this is precisely what God has done to get us into the Kingdom. The incarnation, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is God selling everything He has – betting the farm – in order to get the pearl of great price, which is each of us.

You are God’s pearl of great price. You are the Lord’s priceless treasure.

This reminds me of the great love stories, where both parties risk everything, endure great hardships, face whatever comes, in order to be together. The love and passion they have for each other trumps every obstacle. They both view the other as the ultimate treasure they are willing to do anything to get.

This is how God thinks of you, this is how God feels about you, this is how God acts toward you.

Is it also how you think of/feel about/act toward God?