Friday, January 1, 2010

When God Smiles

By Beverly Hill McKinney

“Hey honey, you have a letter”, my husband, Jim said as he handed me the morning mail.
Since we retired and moved to Oregon, the daily mail delivery is a highlight. I enjoy emails and phone calls but getting a letter is a high point.

As Jim handed me the letter, I noticed it was addressed to “Grandma and Grandpa.” I immediately knew it was from our eight-year-old grandson, Jacob. Tearing open the envelope, I pulled out two sheets of paper. One was a letter to me and the other a drawing.

I carefully unfolded the letter and in giant script it read, “Grandma, I want to come visit you because you are my best friend. I love you, Jacob.”

The attached drawing was a mother hen and her baby chicks. The caption read, “To Grandma” with arrows pointing to the mother hen with the words “grown” next to it and arrows to the chicks with “babies”. The picture was special to me as it brought back memories of our visit to a petting farm when Jacob and our daughter came for a visit last year. Jacob lives in Southern California and does not get to see farm animals often. He enjoyed the miniature goats, the llamas and especially the ride on the horse, Doctor Pepper.

Looking at both these pages, I smiled at the love they conveyed. Thinking of him at his desk with his top teeth clamping his bottom lip, I felt such instant love for this child.

When I thought about the effort that went into the contents of that envelope, I thought how God must smile at us, his children, when we send love letters to Him. With our every prayer, we are telling him how much we love Him. Whether a whispered prayer on the go or a time spent in sweet fellowship with Him, it reflects our love for our best friend. Although just a simple letter, it is a lesson to us in how we can show greater love to our Savior.

Jacob’s letter did not ask for anything. He simply told me he loved me and I was his best friend. How often we approach our Lord and immediately begin our laundry list of things we need but forget to just sit in His presence and love Him for who He is, not asking for anything but being with Him. Yes, I do send things to Jacob as small “surprises” but his letter to me felt like he just wanted to sit in my lap and enjoy my presence.

Jacob also stated he wanted to come see me. Are we looking forward to our times of fellowship with the Lord or is it drudgery to spent time with our Friend? One of the highlights of Jacob’s visit each year is the time he and I spend in the patio swing and just talk together bringing each other up to date on what we have been doing. His quiet laughter and sharing are special both of us.

The other thing Jacob tells me in his letter is that he loves me. How many times in the day do we tell the Lord that we love him? God showed his love for us by sending his Son to die for us. Yet, do we stop and tell the one who died for us how much we love Him for loving us so much?
The picture Jacob drew also brought back memories. That day spent at the petting farm was a special time for us. Enjoying God’s creatures and seeing and petting newborn baby goats helped us to realize what a wonderful world God has given us. That day was a highlight of Jacob’s visit and he remembered the fun we had.

Our lives are a picture for our Lord of either happiness and contentment or discontent and unrest. If we were to draw a picture for God would we draw a beautiful picture, carefully showing how much He has done in our lives? Or would our picture be dark with despair and regrets for those times we have failed Him?

The Bible tells us how much the Lord loved children. He enjoyed spending time with them and wanting them to sit with him and love him. We are God’s children and we can either tell Him how much we love Him and the blessings He has given us, or spent the time with Him complaining about all the burdens we bear through our life.

In Matthew 18:3 (NIV) we are told that unless we become like children, we cannot enter the Kingdom of heaven. May we become as little children and enjoy the blessings and excitement of the life God has given us, daily spending time in His presence, loving Him, and just wanting to be with Him. As we praise Him, love Him and look forward to spending eternity with Him, I am sure God smiles.


Carmen said...

It was refreshing reading this devotional. It made me realize how much we need to focus on those "little things" which in reality are "big things", that fill our lives with the joy of the Lord. How wonderful to see God in every part of my life.

Blessed said...

What a wonderful reminder of our Heavenly Father, who waits on us to come and swing with Him on the porch, sharing the good and the bad -- just sharing. He longs for a call from us...Thank you for painting a picture of our patient Father...