My daughter was only 2 years old when she first verbally expressed love and understanding for her Daddy.
Little Dana was watching her father mop up the soaked carpet in the church hallway. He had dropped by the church building to pick up something and found another septic tank overflow.
“What a mess,” he said, angrily, and started the all-too familiar chore of cleaning up. Dana asked a few questions and got short, curt replies. She heard a couple sighs of exasperation as her father, the pastor of the church, tried to keep from cursing up one side and down the other at the old, rundown building that took so much of his time in maintenance and repairs.
Despite his responses toward her, Dana’s tiny heart went out to her frustrated Daddy. She crept up behind him, while he was kneeling down on one knee wiping up the mess, reached her little hand onto his back and, while patting him, softly said, “I love you, Daddy.” Hugh stopped what he was doing, looked into the eyes of his only child and smiled.
“Thank you, Dana,” he said, this time much more gently. “Daddy needed that.”
How often we, as parents, express our love to our children. We do it on a daily basis, through our sacrifices for them, our provision for their needs, our rules and regulations, and our constant concern for their well-being. But on rare occasions, it seems, do they, especially while toddlers, take the initiative to return that expression of love.
God, as our heavenly parent, delights in our expressions of love toward Him, as well. He gives us the very air we breathe. He grants us each day as a blessing in itself. He made us with our unique personalities and abilities. And He longs for us to recognize Him and the love He has shown to us. He doesn’t need us to love Him. He is God and therefore needs nothing. But He chooses to want us and therefore desires our love in return.
But, what kind of enjoyment could the Creator of the Universe possibly find in you and me?
- He’s pleased when He sees our faith in Him (Hebrews 11:6).
- He’s pleased when we desire Him above all else (Matthew 6:33).
- He’s pleased when we reflect the image of His Son (1 John 2:5-6).
- He’s pleased when we obey Him and His commands to love each other (John 14:15; John 15:12).
- He’s pleased when give thanks to Him in everything( 1 Thessalonians 5:18).
There may be days – particularly ones of difficulty and pain – when we don’t feel His love. We doubt His protection. We wonder if He’s really there at all. But those are the times when we can feel His presence the strongest, if we would focus, not on the storm raging around us, but on the fact that our anchor is holding and our ship has not sunk.
Those are the times we can show Him our love the most — by trusting Him, regardless of what we think He should be doing or how we assume He should be responding.
Show God that He can trust you today with whatever He allows to come your way — even if you don’t understand His actions. His Father heart will be touched.