When my grandson was five years old he did something that reminded me of our relationship to our heavenly Father.
He used a piece of scrap paper to draw a crayon stick figure picture of my wife and me, with him in the center with hearts by each of our pictures. He wrote, “I love you” in big letters. It was so sweet. Our refrigerator has become the gallery for his latest artwork so we posted his picture there proudly. One piece of artwork became a lesson about God’s love for us.
We now go to church with him 5 days a week, four days for preschool and Sunday for service. He likes to take “the shortcut” home from church. The shortcut involves going past Old McDonald’s which is what he calls the fast food restaurant know for it’s golden arches. We have stopped there a couple times after preschool when I was not sure what I would fix him for lunch. This daily childcare routine is new to me!
Sunday, as we took the shortcut past Old McDonald’s, he said he really wanted to go there for lunch. I said, “No” which I generally do, and said we had food at home for lunch. He had been very good in Sunday school and when we came to pick him up he was passing papers out to the other children. The teacher told us that he had been a great help in Sunday school that morning. i am not sure if he felt he had earned that stop or what his motivation was that made it so important to him. It’s hard to know the motivations of ourselves, no less a guy who just turned five.
When we got home he grabbed his crayons and got out a black one. He took his picture off the refrigerator, crossed out the hearts by my wife and I and made a squiggly line through the heart under his picture. Then he crumpled up the picture. He told me that we had “broken his heart” because we would not take him to Old McDonald’s. The squiggly line over his heart indicated his broken heart. I apologized and told him I was sorry that it broke his heart. and I did not mean to hurt his feelings. Soon after, he straightened out the paper and tried to rub off the marks he had made through the hearts with a kitchen towel. The marks did not come out.
Isn’t this the way we are as adults with our God? My grandson wanted to go to Old McDonald’s and when that was not granted, he saw us as being mean and not loving him and was graphically showing that he did not love us anymore. We do the same thing. We pray to God for something and when it does not come when we want it, or the way we want it, we think that God doesn’t love us or care about out us. We may even go so far to to say he is not listening. We want to give up on God altogether.
As an adult, I know what is in those Old McDonald’s french fries and how they add sugar and precook and all the processing they go through in the making. I know that is not good food for him to be eating too often. He doesn’t know all that. Neither do we know what God knows about what is good for us and what is not good for us. God not granting some things we ask for is actually showing he does love us. Besides, think about it, if God gave us everything we asked for we wouldn’t have the time to use it, or a place to store it.
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.- 1 John 2:15 (ESV)
Let’s realize that God, who created the universe, who knows every hair on every head, does care about our needs and loves us. He loves us so much he sent his son, Jesus, to live among us and die a painful death in our place. There is no greater love than this.
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.- John 15:13-14 (ESV)
Just as I love my grandson, God loves us. He wants the best for us and we can rest in His love and be grateful for His provision in our lives.