Amy is seven years old. She has a loving mother and dad who have communicated that love to her through the early years of childhood–from her first breath of earth-air. Her dad, especially, is her close companion–he holds her, teaches her, expresses his love for her in many and various ways–a thoughtful, protective, loving relationship.
But something strange begins to happen one morning as Amy seeks out her dad and asks, “Daddy, do you love me?”
“Why, of course, I love you, sweetie–dearly. You know that. Come let me give you a big hug to start the day.”
“Well, I just wanted to be sure this morning. And Daddy, will you please take care of me today?”
“Take care of you? What do you mean, Amy? I watch over you like a dog watches over a bone. Is something wrong, Honey? Are you scared? Is something going on at school? Have I disappointed you in some way?”
“Oh, no. I just want to ask you to love me and take care of me today. Will you please do that for me, Daddy? Promise?”
“I don’t understand, Amy. You know how much I love you and how very important it is to me to take good care of you. What’s going on in that mind of yours?”
“I just need you to convince me, Daddy, that you really do love me and that you really will take good care of me today . . ..”
Every morning Amy comes to her dad with those same plaintive questions. What do you suppose that does to her daddy? How does it make him feel?
Now consider this. Don’t we do the very same thing with our eternal Fatherufffdour DadufffdJesus? Our God? Ephesians 1:4 says that we are His children, living within His constant care.
Eph. 1:4 (J. B. Phillips)
. . . before the foundation of the world He chose us to become, in Christ, His holy and blameless children living within His constant care.
That means that I am living within His constant care. Doesn’t it?
Do I believe this? Do I accept this as truth–do I evaluate it from experience?
If this is true for me, is it also true for my circle of loved ones who have through faith become His children? If He has said this–stated this as being a part of my position . . .the position of any person in Christ Jesus–why do I go to Him constantly in prayer about it? Pleading with Him to “watch over my loved ones today?” Imploring Him to “surround us with Your angels.” Reminding Him that I am trusting Him–as though He might have forgotten since last night or yesterday. Asking Him to do what He has promised to do? Extracting more promises, more words of encouragement, insisting that He tell me–just one more time–about His faithfulness to me, forgetting the days and months and years that I have experienced His constant care? Wouldn’t this be an affront to God? An act of unbelief? Wouldn’t this communicate a basic insecurity to Him? That I just can’t quite believe His promise?
Lord, I want to do what’s right, to embrace the truth, to have an open mind about my personal theology, and to not base my doctrines on what man has said or conjured up out of his own thought processes.
And prayer is so personal. Lord, I don’t want to use You as a sounding board or as someone to whom I come for cleansing confessionals. I don’t want our relationship to be one where I’m always expecting You to give, to come through, or to somehow prove Yourself in my life. I just want to be with You. I need the stability of Your presence, Your unconditional love, Your unfathomable understanding, the comfort of Your touch, and the contentment of merely being with You. You have told me I already have all of those things. Teach me, Lord. Show me what to do. I love you, and I know that you love me.