In Matthew 17, Jesus shares a moment with His disciples when He is changed into His heavenly glory and His Father speaks a word of affirmation about Him from Heaven. God said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings Me great joy. Listen to Him.”
I’m not a mom yet, but I have observed many moms as they bring their children into the public eye, generally at restaurants or in stores. There are children who range from being very well-behaved to those who bring shame upon their parents and everyone in the store silently watches as mom ducks for cover in the marshmallow isle. It is easy to judge someone’s parenting skills when you have never had to control a child yourself. I have realized that once you have a child for which you are in charge and they throw a tantrum out of nowhere, you understand that each child is a separate human being with a will of its own. He or she chooses whether or not to listen to your instructions.
I have also watched parents as they attend their child’s school concerts or sporting events. Parents do crazy things to show everyone else which child is theirs. They wear t-shirts with their child’s number on it, sound those obnoxious noise makers when they score, or give a standing ovation all alone after a solo. Whether they say it out loud or not, they want to say to the world, “That’s my kid! I’m so proud of him!” They know better than anyone what it took for that child to get up and perform; the insecurities and fears. They calmed his stage fright moments before the show and spent hours shooting hoops the week before so that she might be ready for the game. It’s like they live those moments of anticipation and emotion with their child. They have watched the progress over the years as their child developed her talent and know all the preparation that had to take place. No one knows better than mom and dad what it has taken to get there.
When I think about how God might feel about me, many things come to mind. Just like any kid, I want my Daddy to be proud of me. I want to hear Him shout from the stands, “That’s My kid!” I want Him to tell the world, “She brings me so much joy!”
So often my insecurity wants to tell me that He is disappointed in me, especially when the end result of something isn’t what I was wanting or expecting. I knock over the music stand as I’m walking onto stage. I stutter because I’m embarrassed. The words don’t come out in Spanish like they sound in my head and people are sitting there giving me confused looks. In my head before it actually happened, things went so much better. “Wow,” I think, “I really blew that one.”
It’s also easy to compare myself with other children of His. When my ministry partner has led 10 people to Christ this week and I have not led anyone to Christ, I tend to think, “Well, Daddy must be more proud of her than me.”
However, I had to come to the point where I realized how skewed my view of Him was. No one knows better than He what it took to bring me to where I am. No one else has seen the frustration and the tears like He has. No one else has spent as many hours practicing writing or music with me so that I might be ready for the moment when I would be showing it to the world. No one else has calmed my fears before each performance as much as He. No one else fully gets how STINKING HARD Spanish is for me, nor have they seen me struggle for thousands of hours for ten years to get to the point where I can give a lesson in a Bible Study. He sees me feeling a thousand fears yet facing them with stubborn resolve. When everyone else is looking at me like, “Get it together, kid,” my Daddy is looking at me and saying to the world, “That’s my kid! I’m so proud of her!”
Knowing that truth about my Daddy makes me want to please Him more. It makes me want to keep getting up and giving it all I’ve got. In the past it was so easy for me to speak condemnation over my life, but that never came from my Daddy. That came from someone else. It may be true that some things I can’t do as well as other children of His, but He doesn’t compare me to them. My journey has been and is so different to the point that it is impossible to compare it to someone else’s. God doesn’t pick people to be on His team based on their skills. There are no “last chosen” members of His team. I am meant to shine like He made ME to shine, unique and incomparable…and totally different from anyone around me. I am His kid, and I live in His smile. Nothing else matters more than that.
How do you think God feels about you? If you struggle to believe His love for you, don’t wait another day to dive into His Word and find the truth. We have an enemy named Satan who tries to attack us at the point of our worth. We can live an entire lifetime and not even realize that we are believing a lie about our identity. We can live defeated lives to the point that we never get on stage or enter the court. It is so important to know the truth. Spend time with Him. Get to know Him. Listen to the plans He has for you and dive into them. Then tune into His voice so you can hear Him shouting from the stands, “That’s my kid!” He is not a God of condemnation; rather He longs to shower you with love and acceptance. He wants to sound the obnoxious noise maker when you score the goal. He wants to give you a standing ovation. He gets it. He gets you, and He wants you to do everything you were made to do. Instead of living your life under the weight of expectations, choose to live your life under the love of God. You will find everything that You need in Him.