And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. – Ephesians 3:17b-18
Sometimes, when we pursue God in prayer, we can become exhausted by our own earnestness, and by the anxiety that we aren’t praying well enough, often enough. We can believe God’s love is meted out to us according to our performance. We forget his grace. When I was praying about what to write this week, I felt like the Lord longs to establish in each of us a child-like trust and delight in his person.
Embracing the Truth of God’s Delight in Us
I have a two-year-old who, each morning, rises at dawn and comes running through the house shouting my name. When she sees me she runs even faster to get to me, a look of delight on her face. This ritual fills me with happiness and makes my delight in her even greater. She trusts me, and right now, I am her world. As she grows and becomes more independent, that will change, but for us as believers, we are called to be children in our hearts our whole lives. We are called to a relationship with a God of infinite kindness and compassion who calls us to run to him at any time with complete freedom and joy, even when we’ve made a mess of things. There is no condemnation in Christ, and so there is no fear of punishment.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear… – 1 John 4:18a
The Lord longs to pour into us his great love for us. I think nothing makes him sadder than when we refuse to come close to him out of fear of disapproval or rejection. Like a good parent, he longs for his children to know how much they are loved, to know what lengths he would go to help them, provide for them, heal them. To grasp what he has already done for them through the great sacrifice of his son.
Remembering the Simplicity of the Gospel
It’s important to remember that a child and a simpleton can understand the gospel. It is not complicated. The Lord’s heart is for the least of these, and so his truth and his character will never be beyond our grasp. That should give us great comfort as we stumble forward in this life of faith. The Lord is ever in our grasp. He has made it so. As we cry out to him for love, healing, understanding, strength, renewed perspective, he delights to answer.
Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord… – Jeremiah 29:12-14a