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Sunday, April 14, 2013

MY PRIDE AND JOY

People brought babies to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. When the disciples saw it, they shooed them off. Jesus called them back. "Let these children alone. Don't get between them and me. These children are the kingdom's pride and joy." Mark this: "Unless you accept God's kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you'll never get in. Luke 18:15 (The Message)

Graduating with honors: the feeling of pride welled up within me.  Then acceptance on that first real job with people who want to give you a try and see how you perform invigorated me after the long haul through the university requirements.  Proud to be on the other side of it all.

Warmth in the glow of that special moment when I looked into the eyes of the person I gave my heart to.  Hoping that he would love me back and stay true to his promises of love.  My heart filled, overflowing with love and so proud.

But what beats it all of those life points is the anticipation that carries over the passage of nine months.  This precious innocence I hold at last.  A miniature wiggly reflection of me and my beloved appears.  The tiny hands and feet warmly swaddled up snuggly tight to warm my sweet babe against the frigid hospital air.
 My heart wrenches with the tender pangs of an affection not yet felt to this degree.  I almost could cry, the love rushes in so deep.  No matter how many times before, each fresh new life packed with eternal potential takes my breath away.  All other accomplishments pale in comparison to this miracle of a fresh destiny.  Here in these introductory moments I encountered my ultimate pride and joy. 

If I, who am afflicted by shortcomings in my state of selfishness as a human can emote such a noble love with an indescribable longing to nurture and sacrifice all for my tiny helpless offspring, then how much more love does my heavenly father feel, who is perfect in all ways?

Never has he experienced sin, nor neglected any fine detail.   Unselfish, compassionate, and always yearning to embrace all of me, so how much more does he love me and celebrate my uniqueness?

Experiencing disappointment, pain, and fear is a part of growing up.  I find myself mute with no reasons why life is unfair.  I can't understand why bad things happen even to good people.  I learned from many crushing experiences to harden and close my once tender and open spirit.

Much like the teen who paints the nails, lips, and hair all black, I looked at the world around in faded shades of coal.  For years fighting off the feeling that I was merely a mirror to express all that darkness surrounding me.  Violence screamed to devour the sweet and simple pleasures and sought to force me to bow and cringe, my thoughts weakening to see only limitations. 
Yet, when I was created, this was never intended to be.  I am the pride and joy of the creator of the universe!  I am his beloved.  While I stop and bask in his loving gaze, a reality check allows me to see myself again closer with his design in mind.  If only I could spend five minutes completely out of this world and in his presence.  I know that I would be transformed with the knowledge of my true identity, convinced by the secure memory of his loving warmth.

Oh my stoney heart, let his love soften you.  Take away my blurred vision.  Touch and fine tune my sight.  Break open the gates and let the walls come down.  All of those gifts of mine buried beneath insecurities and shame, begin the release them into a dying world that is starved for purity and goodness.

Sick body, come alive in the presence of the everlasting healer.  Sour words be discarded and find your voice to speak with creative power.  Cynical spirit leave me alone.  Let the dreamer awake in me.   I can do anything through Christ Jesus.  Press me on into the greatness that you designed me for.

I am your pride and joy.  I am the apple of your eye.  Sweet lover of my soul, never let me go!  I am amazed by your love.  I am surrounded by testimonies of your faithfulness when I take time to remember the way you continually reach out to me.  First you thought of me.  Next you formed me.  Now you walk with me.  Forever we will be on adventures throughout the universe.

I try to remember and trust in your goodness.  God, when I remember your true nature, the grays slowly morph into a myriad of blinding color and form.  I learn to sit still and breathe the sweet aroma of your pleasure in me.

My heavenly daddy, you are the one who never tires of helping me along and who delights every time I reach out to hold on tight.

You give me the strength to be vulnerable.  Through this frail frame of mine, you open me up to visualize the unseen.  In my time of rest in you, I regain my footing and realize the marvelous truth that you adore  me.

You free me.  I am released and you now are able to flow through me.  You release me into this world: suddenly newly aware.

The center of my being overflows with a blanket of peace and contagious joy that I find in you.










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