My dad. He worked so hard. I recall him dashing out to work through the front door as we ate our cheerios, steaming coffee in hand, walking back through that same door exhausted many hours later to sleep a few hours and do it all over again the next day.
But Dad also knew how to play. I recall him bundling us down on the toboggan when the fresh snow called us to the hill, where we’d barrel down, him at the back with his legs wrapped around all four of us, shouting “Look out!!” I remember wondering briefly about the risk of capsizing or plunging into the icy creek, but then sighing with relief when I remembered I could trust him.
How did I stay on that toboggan? Was it dad’s watchcare and effort, or my own? For sure, his. I would have spun off like the last child on a crack-the-whip line.
We get this confused in our relationship with God. We think our connection to Him, and our safety, is mostly up to us. So many conscientious believers lack rest in Jesus because they unconsciously adopt the belief that they must be the “big one” in their relationship with God. They imagine that if they aren’t consecrated enough, the connection breaks while He stands by, indifferent. Subtly, the enemy leads conscientious souls away from God-centeredness into a humanistic religion where our devotion to God inspires His devotion to us, rather than the other way around. If Satan can’t lead us to forget God by sucking us into the world, he’ll lead us to forget Him while seeming to remember Him through a human-centered religion.
The Bible presents God as the initiator and sustainer of our connection to Him. He’s the Big One. We respond to the overtures of the heavenly Bridegroom, who betroths us to Himself in faithfulness, that is, commits to us, laying a foundation for the relationship through His own self-sacrificing love.
The greatest evidence of God’s love is the Cross. Every blessing we receive comes stamped with the Cross. Thank God out loud right now for three blessings in your life.
Dear Faithful, Merciful Father, You are the first and the last, the alpha and the omega, of our relationship with You. You are the “big one,” the heavenly bridegroom seeking us out, making a place for us, providing for us at every turn. Our changeable love for you is a response to your undying, unshakable love for us. Open our eyes to Your love that ours may become more faithful is our prayer in Jesus’ name, amen.
“I will betroth you to Me forever; yes, I will betroth you to Me un righteousness and justice, in lovingkindness and mercy; I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, and you shall know the Lord.” Hosea 2:19-20