The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"As Dear Children… We Shall Be Like Him"
"We are so dear to God that He works all things together for the good of making us like the One who has forever been dear to Him. He could do absolutely nothing more loving or gracious for us."
As we arrived for a service at a local retirement community yesterday, staff members served the residents lemonade and cake. I know of few better combinations for an afternoon snack, or of bringing back wonderful memories from childhood summers, spent with my paternal grandparents on their farm.
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren" (Romans 8:28-29).
"Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children" (Ephesians 5:1).
My grandfather made the best lemonade I have ever tasted. On warm summer evenings, as the sun set, we often enjoyed his concoction of water, lemon, and sugar as we sat on the porch, watching the sun go down across farm fields. I can still taste it in memory, and wish I could have just one more sip in the present. Even more, I wish I could have a few more moments on that porch with my grandparents as the day waned and the light of a summer day faded.
I also recall my grandmother's pound cake. Again, "the best" comes to heart and mind (although to be fair, my wife Frances's version occupies a place right there with my grandmother's pound cake). I also remember my grandmother making not only one large cake but also a smaller individual portion baked in a special cake pan. My grandmother made this blessing just for me, and I smile just thinking about how special it made me feel.
Such blessed recollections cause me to think of our Heavenly Father and His loving presence and working in the lives of His trusting children in Christ. My grandfather's lemonade resulted from his combining disparate components - water; lemon; sugar - which resulted in what I recall as a perfect treat to end the day. Our Heavenly Father works in a similar fashion as He weaves the countless moments of our lives together for the purpose of conforming us to the spiritual and moral image of the Lord Jesus. Disparate realities - blessings; challenges; everyday moments - will result in the Christlikeness that will glorify God, fill our hearts with joy beyond description, and enable us to love others as our Lord loves others. No greater or more perfect prospect can grace our expectation than "we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is" (I John 3:2).
I think also of the place we hold in our Father's heart - "dear children" - when remembering my grandmother's special kindness. The tiny version - made just for me - of her amazing pound cake speaks through the years, bearing witness to the large place I held in her heart. This reminds me of the wondrous place we all hold in our Heavenly Father's heart. How can this not be true when we recall the extent to which God worked to make possible our birth into "the whole family of Heaven and earth?" (Ephesians 3:15). "He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32). Yes, God loves us so dearly that He desires an entire family of sons and daughters no less cherished than "His dear Son" (Colossians 1:13).
Memories of my grandfather and grandmother's special kindnesses bring the thought: we are so dear to God that He works all things together for the good of making us like the One who has forever been dear to Him. He could do absolutely nothing more loving or gracious for us. So, thank you, Grandpa, thank you, Grandma, for cherished memories. And thank You, Heavenly Father, for cherished realities in the present, which will shine upon us all the more, forevermore. "As dear children… we shall be like Him."
"And I have declared unto them Thy name, and will declare it, that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them."
Weekly Memory Verse
"Thou art good, and doest good."