To be loved by a child opens up a place in our heart that we never know exists until little eyes and little hearts look at us with complete devotion of affection and innocence.
Our son Noah has discovered such blessedness in the last five years since the birth of his children Jackson and Emma. As he prepares for another deployment with the United States Marine Corp and the separation from Jackson and Emma it will involve, the gift of their love becomes even more known and appreciated.
Just before Noah returned last week from a several month period of training, Jackson, who had been counting down the days until his dad’s return, said, “Tomorrow my daddy comes home. Tomorrow is the greatest day of my life!” (I’ve not yet been able to think about that statement without accompanying tears. Probably never will).
I believe, hopefully with a great deal of reverence, that there is a childlike quality in God’s love for us. By this, I don’t discount His infinite greatness, or the deep reverence and even fear that must characterize the perception of our awe-inspiring Creator. However, the Bible frequently speaks of the love of God for us in terms of the most rapt and affectionate devotion. I do not think it is inappropriate, therefore, to see in the child’s love a ray of light that reveals a particularly sublime aspect of the Divine heart wherein we discover our belovedness in the eyes of God.
It is a great day in our Father’s heart, as it were, when we come home to Him. This is true in the case of the unbeliever’s salvation: “I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth” (Luke 15:7). In similar manner, the approach of believers to the throne of grace blesses God far more than we can imagine - “The prayer of the upright is His delight” (Proverbs 15:8). Of all Biblical truth, I find this to be the most sanctifying, the most motivating, the most thrilling, the most convicting, and above all, the most love-inspiring. “We love Him because He first loved us” (I John 4:19).
You can learn a lot from the heart of a child. The Maker of such beautiful things deposits qualities of Himself in little eyes, voices, and yearnings of young souls who reveal a pure intensity of devotion often difficult to find in older hearts. Perhaps this explains our Lord’s command to “suffer the little children to come unto Me.” Yes, He saw something of Himself in such ones, even as the childhood He lived confirms that little ones have something to tell us about the love of the good and great One.
I thank you in advance for your prayers for Noah and his family as he deploys for a season of service to his nation. And I look forward to another “greatest day of my life” when Jackson and Emma will again have counted down the days until their daddy’s return. When I think of that blessed time, I’ll try to remember the lesson that shines forth from their devotion, revealing another and even greater Love…
“The Lord taketh pleasure in His people.”