We had a children's story during church this morning. Not being one to be able to focus long on anything, I glanced around the church as the story was read to the little ones. Just about every "grown up" had their eyes on the children, with a silly half smile on their faces that said both "aren't they cute?" and "we're so proud". It's hard for us to imagine, but God our Father looks at us like that. He smiles, and listens intently, and strains to see what His children are doing as the story is read. His story. And even if we're not sitting still, or we're playing with our hair, or we're speaking out of turn, He adores us. And even though we don't always "get it" when the Words are read or spoken, He knows our hearts. He sees our heads tilted with listening ears. He sees our eyes focused on the pages. He sees our hands raised with questions. He knows the wisdom will come with growing, and the growing takes time. And He is infinitely patient. Because we are His sons and daughters. His children.
Galatians 4:1-8 (New Living Translation)
1 Think of it this way. If a father dies and leaves great wealth for his young children, those children are not much better off than slaves until they grow up, even though they actually own everything their father had. 2 They have to obey their guardians until they reach whatever age their father set. 3 And that's the way it was with us before Christ came. We were slaves to the spiritual powers of this world. 4 But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. 5 God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. 6 And because you Gentiles have become his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, and now you can call God your dear Father. 7 Now you are no longer a slave but God's own child. And since you are his child, everything he has belongs to you.