I don't spend much time wondering what God longs for from us, do you? This thought has been bouncing around my little cranium the past few days and I'd like to share something that happened that may have given me a glimpse into what God longs for.
Before Teya goes to sleep each night I like to kiss her on the cheek (if she lets me with my "spiky" beard) and softly tell her I love her. Then I typically follow up with a question, "How much does Daddy love you?" And she whispers back in a daze, "A lot!"
What I desire more than anything else in my relationship with Teya is that she be secure and confirmed in my love for her. So these nightly rituals are there to cement what our days together should reinforce - that I am for her.
Well something has been going on the past month or so that's broken up our ritual a bit. There's been a welcome interruption escaping the lips of my daughter. Rather than finishing our interchange with simply "A lot" she's begun muttering "I love you too Daddy."
Okay, so I'm not sure what I'm supposed to write about from here. I'm simply stumped. Somethings happened in our relationship that is clearly God's hand reaching into our broken world and restoring something good, something very, very good.
Of course I've also heard Teya dancing around and toying with the forbidden words "poop" and "hate," and throwing me into the mix with "I hate you poopy Daddy." But it can't touch the whisperings that have interrupted our nightly ritual. I just share this other side to illustrate that at 4, she often hardly knows what she's saying.
And that's it: In our relationship with God I believe he relishes and absolutely cherishes our fumbling words in which we express our meagre yet real love for him. Last night I shared with Jesus that I love him a lot. I don't know what his reaction was, but if it's anything like this earthly father's, it changed his day or night, whatever time zone God is in.
I don't think God waits around for us to say we love him. He simply desires that we find security and joy in his great love for us. But when this love comes full circle and we dare to put utterance to it, be it ever so paltry, God's got to be delighted. Because as an earthly father I felt a joy over Teya that I can't express.
I often think that God longs for obedience and faithfulness, but I'm beginning to suspect that he longs more for his love to come full circle. He desires that our longing be his longing, a relationship restored and bounded by the chords of his love. That's his promise and what he so furiously pursues (check out Brennan Manning's The Furious Love of God).