To Live as the Favorite Child

IMG_8198As I write this my kids have been away at camp for nine days already and I have received all of¬†two letters. Yep – just two. Between three kids! I figured out if they each wrote everyday (like I do ūüėČ ) that would be a total of 27 letters by now!

Seriously, it’s fine. Based on a previous track record I knew ahead of time that one wouldn’t write at all. That child didn’t even want stationery in the trunk and considering there were still stamped envelopes in there from three years ago, I decided it was time to hand those over to a different child.

Now the other two normally do write, but according to me daughter’s¬†letter I think she is taking advantage of her rest time to get her Bolivian counselor’s help with her huge AP Spanish packet, due when school starts back! The other one – I assume is writing and drawing in his journal because that is what he likes to do, but who knows with him.

What I love though is both who wrote¬†signed their letters as “Your Favorite Child.” They¬†have given themselves this title, but I’m glad they feel such love and security that they live according to¬†the status.¬† Because you know what?

This is how we should live as children of God. ¬†We are all God’s Favorite Child!¬†

All of us! He doesn’t favor one over the other because one is a better Christian, does more good works or hasn’t committed certain sins. Nope – all of His children are His favorite children!

I had never thought about this until reading a chapter in Kay Wyma’s book I’m Happy for You (Sort of‚ĶNot Really) on¬†“finding contentment in a culture of comparison” – a book I’ve shared once before here.

In the book she quotes author Henri Nouwen as saying:

“Our God‚Ķdoes not compare. Never‚Ķ I cannot fathom how all of God’s children can be favorites. And still, they are‚Ķ God loves with a divine love, a love that cedes to all women and men their uniquenss without ever comparing.”

How amazing is that!

In our humanness that is hard to comprehend when we seem to not be able to not¬†compare! That is, after all, how favorites are chosen- comparing one to the other. ¬†And I’m not talking about children, it’s how we decide our favorite anything. Favorite shoes, favorite food, favorite vacation. We compare and contrast to determine which one is better or best.

But how would it change things for you if you knew God is not comparing and contrasting you to your neighbor? To your Bible study friend? To the room mom? Nor is He comparing the addict who slipped up again or your spouse whose sin is seemingly so much greater than yours ;0 to you.

  • Wouldn’t it eliminate the striving to be good enough?
  • Wouldn’t it¬†help you¬†rest knowing you are okay just as you are?¬†
  • Wouldn’t it help you believe that¬†it’s not about what we do, but what He did for us?¬†
  • Wouldn’t it also convict us of our pride by pointing out¬†the ways we think we are better because of what we do or don’t do?¬†

So back to¬†the “What If” game that I introduced¬†in a recent post:

What if we lived as if we were God’s favorite child?

Wouldn’t that be freeing?!

This is Grace

IMG_8193After a long week of writing and too many dreary days, yesterday afternoon I made myself take a break from my manuscript to just go lay in the pool. I had my music playing on the Drew Holcomb station when a song came on that I almost clicked to pass over. Instead I ended up with tears streaming down my face.

Before I could even reach for my phone to forward to the next song, I became caught up in the words of the story.  A story being sung from a dad about his daughter with words that could no better capture Grace.

The song is Dance with Me by Ryna Long. You may want to listen to it on YouTube for the full emotional effect, but I share with you the lyrics here:

“There at the table my daughter and I
Just ate the last of my mother’s pie
It’s the 5th of December and I act like I don’t know
Where it is she wants to go
She pushed back a chair and took my hand
Come into the living room and put on my favorite band
Dad it’s my birthday don’t miss your chance
Ask me to dance

So I said dance with me
Dance with me Jen
I’d love to feel you in my arms again
Dance with me, Dance with me Jen

I’d love to feel you in my arms again

Several years later my daughter and I
Can’t get along no matter how hard I try
She got herself a boyfriend who lives on down our road
His intentions, I don’t know
So on her birthday that same year
I went and put on that music she loved to hear
Said girl it’s your birthday don’t wanna miss my chance
And asked you to dance

Chorus

She turned her head and grabbed her coat
She didn’t look back and she slammed the door
Took a bus down to Texas with that boy down the road
Had no idea that he’d leave her there alone
She was drinking in her freedom and weathering the cold
Too stuborn to come back home
She finally got a job at a night time club
She was dancing on tables for men she didn’t love
She thought if my daddy could see me now
He’d never take me back – no way, no how
And how she longed to hear him say

Dance with me, Dance with me Jen
I’d love to feel you in my arms again
Dance with me, Dance with me Jen
I’d love to feel you in my arms again

Found out from her boyfriend who lived down the road
He left her in Texas and he moved back home
He had her address and I drove all night long
Just to fine that she was gone
It was 10 in the morning when I found out what she did
Left a note at the club, got in my car and drove home again
When she read it she cried alone
Hopped a bus and headed home
It was that note it read:

Dance with me
Dance with me Jen
I’d love to feel you in my arms again”

This¬†is The Grace God bestows on His children! ¬†Like this daughter, there is¬†nothing we do to earn or deserve His love, and there is nothing we can do to lose it. He gives it freely, not because of who we are but because of how great He is. This is what makes grace so amazing! When we begin to get grace like this I don’t think we can help but be moved – moved to worship Him more and moved toward others in compassion.