(4) I can do something He doesn’t like, and it doesn’t change how He feels about me one bit.
As one of my favorite authors puts it, there’s nothing I can do to make God love me more, and nothing I can do to make Him love me less. Because it’s not about *doing*! He just loves me. Period.
Lots of parents reassure their kids that they are loved even when they misbehave, but so often we here parents say things like “I love my kids, but sometimes I just don’t *like* them very much!
I don’t get that. I’m not sure how it’s possible. If I don’t like someone, how capable am I of being particularly loving toward them?
And even if it IS possible, how can a child comprehend that distinction?
I’m so grateful God doesn’t distinguish like that. He doesn’t “like me” when I behave well, and “dislike me” when I behave badly. He just flat out doesn’t value what I DO (even the good stuff I do is like “filthy rags” to Him) . . . Instead, He values who I AM. He just rejoices in my existence, regardless of whether I’m doing what He wants at any particular moment in time.
(5) He does things just to delight me.
This one has been quite the experience for me to figure out. The more I hang out with my son, the more I realize that I want to do things for him – not to prove a point, or teach him something, or help him with something, but just because it will make him happy.
I remember a conversation with my best friend growing up, where we realized that the logical conclusion of everything we had been taught was, “if I want it, it must be wrong for me to have it, and therefore wrong of me to want it.” We’re taught that our own desires are wicked and deceitful . . . and sometimes that’s even true. It’s incredibly seductive, and dangerous, to believe something just because I WANT it to be true . . . whether it actually IS true or not.
But the fact is, the more our hearts are in tune with God’s heart, the more our desires reflect His . . . that is, the more we want GOOD things.
And sometimes He is in the habit of giving us those good things before we even realize we want them.
Take Solomon, for example. God said he could have anything he wanted, and all he asked for was enough wisdom to rule his people well. God gave Him more wisdom than anyone else who ever lived. Just because.
Or Adam, who couldn’t have possibly known that he was missing anything when he was flying solo . . . he was, after all, blissfully ignorant of such emotions as loneliness, loss or unhappiness.
And God gave him Eve. Because God knew it would make Adam happier . . . would fulfill a need in him that he didn’t even realize wasn’t being met. God knew that giving Adam the one thing he was missing would make the whole of creation, “Very Good.”
Of course that’s not to say that every moment of every day is just going to be complete bliss . . . God makes it pretty clear that troubles and difficulties are pretty standard features of a life spent in relationship with Him.
But those times when He just blesses us . . . just because . . . are pretty special too.