January 8, 2013
We are a week away from Blessing Sunday at church. Of course I am looking forward to hearing what God wants to speak over me. I remember last year hearing that God wants me to experience His joy more and to find my dance and to know He has huge plans for my life. Still working on that. And of course 2 years ago, I was stunned by the realization that I had actually been fighting against God’s healing power in my life. Rebelling against His cure for my sins and despair the way My Gorgeous had struggled against taking her Amoxicillin to fight strep throat. My nephew Logan, the Golden Boy, has been struggling with infection since early October. Surgery helped but didn’t cure him. He is on more antibiotics in hopes of not needing another surgery that would be even more risky than last time. He has to take Amoxicillin now, and when I talked to my girlies about Logan last night, they made faces just remembering the yucky pink stuff. We want the healing but hate the cure.
First week of December, Lauren took my phone and videoed herself doing some strange tricks. My Lovely has the ability to curl her tongue (not too unusual), flip her tongue upside down (try that one), and shape her tongue into a flower! Freaky! Proud Mommie posted it on Facebook of course, and we’ve been trying to get ahold of Ripley’s! She was so excited to show Paul and me what incredible things she could do, and we cheered and made her feel talented. Compare that to the time Oh Emily proudly told me she had brushed Kitty Sunday’s teeth with the Sonicare, and she had figured out how to hold him down so effectively that he wasn’t even able to scratch her during the hygiene exam. As a dental hygienist, that disturbs me on many levels, and although she expected me to cheer for her, instead I scolded her. For the right reasons, of course, but it completely deflated My Enchanting who thought she had done something amazing. In those 2 examples, my girls had very different pictures of Mommie. Lauren saw me as her cheerleader, while Emily saw me as her displeased judge.
I wonder what it would be like if God saw me that way. What if…? What if God the Father was introducing me to His Son and Holy Spirit and said something like “this is my daughter, in whom I am mostly disappointed. She has soiled her redemption by flaunting her sin nature. So at this point, all we can do is to make the best of a bad situation.” How crushed would I be?!
I saw more of that this Christmas. I have to say that Christmas gets better every year. I feel closer to God each Christmas. But we had Pat, the Elf on the Shelf, this year, and I realized what a great tool that is to shame my kids into behaving for about a month. Wouldn’t want Pat to report anything bad to Santa. And my Santa’s Helper app on my phone, I’m ashamed to say, caused many shameful tears when Em and Lauren found themselves on the naughty list a few times. Don’t want to get into an argument about Santa versus Christ’s birth; my girls know the reason for our celebration. But we also enjoy the magic and excitement of believing in Santa. However it’s hard to reconcile this Santa who brings tangible gifts, or doesn’t, based on Lauren’s freaky talent or Kitty Sunday’s plaque control, and this God who give the free gift of Salvation based on the righteousness of His Son’s perfect life, despite our talents and hygiene. So I think next year, Pat will just sit quietly and keep her observations to herself.
I want to know God is well pleased with me. I want to know my sins are separated from his memory as far as the east is from the west. I want to know that He sees me justified, just-as-if-I’d never sinned and just-as-if-I’d lived as perfectly as Christ. And I want to know He sees me through the lens of Christ’s blood at the cross. I want to know His Blessing on Sunday is more than just words spoken from the mouth of a lay-minister who might not even know anything about me. I want to know that His blessing on me didn’t materialize just before noon this Sunday; it started even before I started, and it has always been truth, even before I knew it, even if I’m not at church to hear it, and even when I don’t believe it. And I want to know that His blessing comes complete with the power and authority for me to live it boldly, without hesitation or doubt. I want to know how to really, really get that. To get His love story for me. His real love story, woven through time from before time. The love story of power and redemption and grace and mercy and everlasting and revelation and growth and life and His favor and expectation and hope and blessing. I want to know how to get that.
And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:16, 17 ESV)
Seeking the pleasing treasure,