Reflections on a train headed to Newark, DE – I am praying for a friend when I see an image of a toddler girl stumbling towards her Father, her arms flailing as she tries to maintain steady balance and His – outstretched towards her. He is smiling like crazy.
God is a dad. He doesn’t expect us to know how to do everything off the bat – as a little toddler, no parent expects their child to be able to walk immediately – in fact they anticipate you tripping and stumbling. Not only that, they delight in your missteps. Their faces light up in delight when they see you struggling to coordinate your limbs in a cohesive way to move your body forward. Is it more pleasure to them to suddenly witness you walking easily up to them, or is there more delight in seeing you fumble clumsily, in all your cuteness and uncoordinated baby youth? Do they not whip out the camera when you try to take your first, second, (hundredth) steps, face about to break in half due to manic grins as they observe and record your awkwardness and weakness?
The parent treasures these moments where you learn – to come to them, struggling and flailing. And they yearn for the moment you trip so they can pick you up and hold you and comfort you and awe at you “baby, look at you, you did so well!” Never do they reprimand you for not being able to take more than ten consecutive steps, instead they rejoice over the shaky two you made – “wow look at my baby, aren’t you amazing??” They wish for you to grow up slower so the longer they have to nurture and care for you – for they fear the one day you will grow up and reject them, casting them aside saying that “I’m an adult now – I don’t need you to take care of me anymore.”
The Father’s heart is to always provide for us. The Father’s heart is to desire after our presence. The Father’s heart is to be there by our side as we grow, stumble and fall, and repeat. If we grow up so fast, where does our need for the Father go? It should never go away as we will always need Him – our souls were engineered in that way. But in the growing process, be patient. Because God is never in a hurry for you to grow up. He knows you’ll grow but He wants to love you most of all. So take heart. Even though you may stumble constantly, backslide and regress, do not fear for God is there. And He eagerly waits for these moments so that He may show you His daily, hourly, constant grace that will last you a lifetime and eternity – a grace that does not hinge on your perfect performance but in fact, longs for your weakness to manifest so that He may make you stronger.