When my 4-year-old grandson knows I’m going to visit, he is usually waiting. If it’s cold weather, he’ll be just inside the door. If it’s raining, he’ll be striding along the porch, in boots and jacket. In fair temps, he is in the yard with some type of ball in hand.
The great thing? Every time he catches sight of me, he yells my name and opens his arms for the hug he knows is coming. The best thing? He acts this same way with his other grandma, both grandpaps, parents, aunts, uncles, sisters, great grandmas, great grandpa, etc. He instinctively recognizes the people who love him and he returns the love full force.
As we age and ride out life experiences, it seems many of us lose the pure and trusting hearts of children. It’s understandable, of course. Stress and responsibilities build on our shoulders until we’re forever bent. Even many little ones - in poverty, sickness, abusive or neglectful circumstances, and through violence – surrender their innocence long before it would naturally occur. An integral part of our humanity, so genuine and true, disappears into the past.
Entering into 2023, I pray we can know that we are all God’s children and worthy of love and dignity. You were created with a purpose. You are unlike any other person. You are irreplaceable. Don’t let the world or self-doubt or evil people tell you differently. You are loved.
It’s easy to get swept into daily tasks, work, chores, surviving. Prayer time can feel like a luxury rather than a necessity. We can put it off, forget, or avoid it all together. But…it is so important to that sweet part of ourselves we may have lost over time.
Just as I find every opportunity to visit with my grandkids, God does the same with you. He will show up in good weather or bad. He will wait if you aren’t quite ready. He will look for you and call you and seek you out. He will open His arms and hug you with a love beyond all measure.
“See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” (1 John 3:1)