Back to the Basics

Written by: Angela Mercer

It seems to me that parenting has taught me more then almost anything else in my life. One thing I have learned is that I place a high priority on excellence (a job WELL DONE) and sometimes unfortunately—perfection, which, we all know is impossible.

When I was growing up I knew very quickly what made my parents proud or at least what I thought made them proud. I knew what I was good at and what people would praise me for. I knew what made my parents happy and I made sure I did lots of those things.

I recognize this same behaviour in my kids. They will clean up the kitchen or empty the dishwasher after they are home from school. Sometimes when I come home they will go the extra mile and tidy up the whole main living area and light a candle (they know I am a sucker for a beautifully scented candle). They love to see the look on my face when I realize I no longer have to spend time cleaning (and every mama said AMEN!) My kids light up with pride as they see how pleased I am with what they have done. If you are a parent, you know that while you appreciate that clean living room and the added touch of a lit candle, it doesn’t increase your love for that child. You already love them more then they’ll ever know.

Unfortunately, we can take that same approach with our relationship with God. It can be tempting to think that God will love us more and that we will make Him happy with all the awesome things we do. We can work so hard to please Him that we forget He doesn’t require that of us at all. It doesn’t seem to matter how long we’ve been a Christian either, we can still fall back into this trap without even thinking.

I once heard someone say: “There is nothing you can do to make God love you more and there’s nothing you can do to make God love you less. He just loves you”.

While I know that to be true (head knowledge) it is sometimes hard to remember in day to day life and actually live like I believe it (heart knowledge).

My favourite verse in scripture says: The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

When God looks at you, He rejoices. In other words He is GLAD AND FULL OF JOY. I like to picture God laughing.  It’s kind of like watching my son and daughter doing something they love. It is hard to not watch them with pride and a big smile on my face. I love watching them do what they were created to do and it gives me great joy!

God loves watching you, His child, and He is so full of joy He can’t contain Himself. And there was nothing you did to get that kind of reaction from Him. It is purely and simply because you are His and He loves you.

So, what do we do now?

We just simply receive that love and REST in it.