"Does God like princesses?"
That's what she asked as we rocked together, cuddling a Sunday afternoon away. She wants to know all about God, this one. I don't remember the others trying so hard at the tender age of 4, to figure God out.
She wants to know where he is, if he's really and truly real, where exactly he is in her heart, where heaven is located, and does he like girls to play with their dollies all day?
She begins her prayers like this: "I love God and he's always with me. I love my dollies. Please God, help my dollies to be good. I love my family and they love me and we're always together."
She changes the rest, but this beginning stands, day after day, and we don't try to change it.
I'm so grateful she's interested. I'm so grateful she already knows this: He's always with me.
But like the rest of us, my four year old has much to learn.
We tend to focus on our performance, more than on who God is and what he's done.
Does he like princesses? Or does he prefer down-to-earth types? Does he like how much I'm giving to the church? Does he like the books I read, and the movies I borrow? What does he think of my daily schedule?
See, these are concerns about us.
Instead of wondering to what extent we're pleasing God, we need to marvel at who He is.
We need to wake up every morning and gaze at Him, not at ourselves.
It's when we get quiet and gaze at Him that we feel the full beauty and miracle of the Gospel. We feel the full weight of His love, and we love him right back...because being in His presence is the best.
The very best.
Our lives, our hearts, are His work, not ours. We're in the way, aren't we, when we look inward instead of at Him?
Let it be about relationship, not about performance.
And as parents trying to train and correct children, let's make sure grace is prevailing in our home. We want to be like Jesus to them...but sometimes we're more like performance evaluators, instead?
Their hearts need the same message: It's not about what you've done, but who He is.
Let's really feast on this verse today:
Ephesians 3:16-21 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen