Do you feel like God is almost always frowning when He looks at you, when He considers your failures, your weaknesses, when He compares you to your perfect friend (which He never does)? Do you feel like the only time God is pleased with you is when you do something nice like give to the poor, work in a soup kitchen, or teach Sunday School?
Recently I read something that will forever change your thoughts about God and your relationship with God.
Following is an excerpt I recently read in James Bryan Smith’s The Good and Beautiful God. Mr. Bryan shared a story from Kathleen Norris’ book, Amazing Grace.
“One morning this past spring I noticed a young couple with an infant at an airport departure gate. The baby was staring intently at other people, and as soon as he recognized a human face, no matter whose it was, no matter if it was young or old, pretty or ugly, bored or happy or worried-looking he would respond with absolute delight. It was beautiful to see. Our drab departure gat had become the gate of heaven. And as I watched that baby play with any adult who would allow it, I felt as awestruck as Jacob, because I realized that this is how God looks at us, staring into our faces in order to be delighted, to see the creature he made and called good, along with the rest of creation. . .I suspect that only God, and well-loved infants, can see this way.”*
Mr. Smith followed up,
“What if God is not mad at you? What if God were actually like the one in this narrative, a God who responds to us with ‘absolute delight’ regardless of how we look or feel, or what we have or have not done?”**
Think about that. God looks at you with delight each second of every minute of every day. Yes, He knew we would fail when He created us. But He did create us, bring us into existence, so He could delight in us and be in relationship with us. He knew we would fail so He made a plan for that—Jesus. He knew from the beginning of creation that the only way for us to be in relationship with Himself—the One and Only Holy God—was to send His Son Jesus to be our perfect sacrifice to make us right with Him. He did all that because He delights in us. We have done and can never do anything to earn it. Just like the baby in the story—the people the baby smiled at did nothing to earn his delight. He gave it freely.
God delights in us. He is on our side. He wants us to feel His love and live lives that reflect that. How would your life, you, be different if you believed that every minute of every day God is looking with delight at you?
When I think about that. . .
- I feel my shoulders relax.
- A smile comes to my face.
- I feel the pressure to write an amazing blog, to accomplish my to-do list, and the like disappear.
- Instead I enjoy the moment, whatever it is.
- I enjoy being God’s girl.
- I feel His love and love Him in return.
How much better is this than going through my day, my life, feeling that God is frowning at me or disappointed in me?
Experiencing God’s love for us is not complicated. He created us and sent Jesus so we can be in relationship with Him because He loved us. 1 John 4:10, “In this is love; not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins” (NET Bible). Will you accept this truth? If yes, tell God so.
For everyone who has said yes to God, what is stopping you from enjoying His delight every minute of every day? Remember the picture of Harvey’s smile.
This is God looking at you every minute of every day.
*James Bryan Smith, The Good and Beautiful God: Falling in Love with the God Jesus Knows. (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2009), page 87.
Brenda Garrison is an author and speaker who empowers women with the confidence to live their calling. Brenda is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ministry Leadership with a Concentration in Women’s Ministry at Moody Bible Institute. She and her husband, Gene, are the parents of three young adult daughters and live near Metamora, IL.