Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir. [Galatians 4:6-7 NIV]
It’s funny, isn’t it? Growing up. We are all entering into this stage of adulthood where we’re supposed to have things figured out. We’re supposed to be responsible, forward-thinking, and successful. It’s easy, I think, to fall into a pattern of striving to succeed in our everyday lives. And while that isn’t always a bad thing, it can sometimes carry over into our relationships with God. We don’t like to be messy.
I’ve worked at a summer camp up in North Georgia for a few years now. It’s wild, honestly, hanging out with little kids and hearing the thoughts that run through their heads. One summer, because of a random series of events, we had a mud pit at camp. It’s exactly what it sounds like. A giant mud pit that about fifteen people could fit into. Not everyone was the hugest fan of the mud pit, but I loved it. I saw a pattern with my campers when we were there.
We would walk up, and they would take one glance at the pit and a look of horror would cross their faces. You could almost see the “nope” in their eyes. But they got in anyway, because we had all agreed to try our best to do everything together that week. As we would slide in, there were always squeaks and protests and some warranted whining. But, without fail, within a few minutes they were having the time of their lives. It felt good, the messiness of it all. It was literally impossible to ‘fail’ at the mud pit. All they had to do was get in. And the longer they were in there, and the more they realized that everyone else was just as muddy, including their counselors, the more they loosened up.
A key distinction that exists between being a child and a slave is the ability to be messy. I can safely promise that God isn’t like a master that is waiting for you to clean yourself up before he entertains your presence. If anything, we are down here in the mud, and the Father is jumping right in to play with us. Can you imagine that? Without judgement or disappointment, He meets you there because He loves you.
Another distinction to be made here is the level of access that children of God have. There isn’t a time of day that the Father thinks it’s inconvenient for us to approach Him. It’s unbelievable, honestly. You could wake up at four in the morning and talk to God for hours, or you could have an hour break in between your classes, and meet with Him then. He will never get tired of you. That is a fact.
Get out your journals this week, and invite God into the messy bits of your week. Invite Him into the moments that are difficult, and ask Him what He thinks. He’s not intimidated by your mess!
God, thank You for being who You are. Thank You for the way that You love me as Your child.. God, I ask that You fill my heart up with a confidence that You are my Father and that You are good. I give You permission to shift my perspectives so that I can understand You as a Father better, and I ask that You continue to teach me more about who You are. Amen.
p.s. here’s a good song about the Father!