Josiah is my (pretty cute) 3 year old grandson. He loves to visit my house and I look forward to having him around. Recently, Peter and I were away for a couple weeks, visiting some other grandchildren and their parents in Missouri. Upon our return home, Josiah greeted me with a great big smile, a huge hug, and the sweet words, “I missed you, Grandma!” My heart melted.
Most often when Josiah visits, his first words on coming through the front door are, “Grandma, I want a muffin!” He knows from experience that I always have muffins on hand for snacks. And he seems to be perpetually hungry! He asks confidently knowing that I can be counted on to hear and to heed his request. I love it!
I also remember when he first began to respond with gratitude: as he was seated at my table with his muffin awaiting the first bite, Josiah’s little boy voice was music to my ears when he said, ” Thank you, Grandma!” Precious words!
Being with my grandchildren – and knowing the deep love and affection I feel towards them – causes me often to reflect on my relationship with God, my heavenly Father. The similarity between my grandson and me is at the same time humbling and reassuring.
I love my Father God. I love to be with him. I love to “visit” him in prayer and spend time in his presence. When I am “away” from him (which happens sometimes when I get too busy or distracted – it’s me that creates the distance, not God), I realize how much I miss the fellowship with him. My heart cries, “I’ve missed you, Lord!” He patiently awaits my return, and greets me with a warm embrace. I know he’s missed me too.
And often when I spend time with my Father, the first thing I bring is a request. This is because I know from experience that he always makes provision for me. When I am expectant and hungry for what he has for me, I can make my requests confidently. I know with certainty that he’s a Father who can be counted on to hear and to heed my requests.
I remember when I began to realize the importance and the power of being thankful, and of expressing that gratitude to God. It delights our Father’s heart when his children truly appreciate him for all his goodness and kindness every single day. I don’t know where I’d be without him in my life. I have so much to thank him for!
During this Advent and Christmas season, I am reminded again that it pleases God our Father when we come to him with totally trusting, childlike faith. He assures us that we can “confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace whenever we need help.” (Hebrews 4:16 NET).
I’ve learned that God is faithful to give only those things which are ultimately for the good of those he loves. “All generous giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights ” (James 1:17 NET).
There never has been, and never will be, a more precious gift from God than that of his son, Jesus, whose birth we celebrate at this time of year. Jesus is Emmanuel – which means “God with us”. He came to experience our life – our joys, our pain, our hopes, our fears. And he came to offer forever fellowship with him.
I receive the most amazing lessons from being with all my beloved grandchildren. I learn about them, about myself, about faith, and about God.
This Christmas, I will take time to reflect on how incredibly blessed I am. I am so very grateful for the coming of Jesus, for time together with family and friends, for smiles, and hugs, for gifts … and yes, for muffins and such.
Merry Christmas one and all!