Bringing a Giggle to the Heart of God
,Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.
When I was a around 7 years old, I would help my dad fix things around the house. I wanted to build a porch or pant a room. Instead my dad would have me sit and hold a hammer, while occasionally handing him the water jug. As a child with A.D.D and an over active imagination it was boring. No, it was torture. I felt like a slave chained to the floor. I did not have much to do and I wanted to do so much more. I enjoyed my time with dad yet I felt underwhelmed and disconnected. I would think, “If only He would let me swing a hammer. He would be so proud of me.” Many times I would become frustrated. Out of frustration I would try something rash and mess up a day’s work. I was striving to do more than he wanted of me. He would remind me I was there for him and ask if I would get him some water. For me, it was “weighted” time. Time that dragged on like a car in neutral. My Dad saw it as time well spent. He loved hanging out with his son. I felt chained down. My desire to do something clanked like clamoring chains. All I could hear was the sound of me doing nothing. My distracted frustration would often drowned out the stories dad told me about when he was a boy. Occasionally I would eagerly listen and he told them with a big smile on his face. He would say when you listen like this, it makes me happy. My simple undivided attention would bring a giggle to his heart. Looking back I long for those days of holding his hammer and fetching some water but most of all I miss the stories.
Being and Doing
In our spiritual life, we can get ahead of God’s work in our lives and begin to do for him and forget to be with him. Our first calling as Christians is to love the Lord your God. We are to lovingly wait on him until he says, “fetch me the hammer”. It is in simple obedience that we enter into co-operation with our heavenly Father. If we focus on the doing we miss what makes such times special, the relationship we have with him. The irony is without His presence, our work is a fruitless mess, without his being, his abiding, our work is like digging a hole in a lake.
It took 15 years of following Christ to learn this truth. I know now I am not God’s publicist. He does not need me to make him look good. I am not Middle Management is God’s company. He does not need me to get others to work for him. I am not in God’s labor force. He does not need my work to accomplish his task. Yet as a child, abiding, being, living in Him, I will spread his fame, inspire others, and build his kingdom as a produce of faithful abiding and heartfelt adoring. In short, When you in the family being alway comes before doing.
We should remember, when God is working it is best to let him do the work. He can do the best job. Yes, it is boring. Yet waiting on God is about full engagement not doing for him. We may hear the ring of boredom but he sees it as time with his child. We are getting time to get to know him. I did not see that while I was dad’s little helper. He just wanted to be near me. My father wanted me to sit and wait on him because he loves me and enjoyed our time together. In the same way God enjoys us. When we fully engage in relationship with him, place our expectations aside, enjoying the reality of communion. In this we enter life with him, the abiding life.
Doing everything but life together
Many Christians have a doing addiction. All they know is how to do for God. They can’t just be with God. It is unsettling; something eats at them demanding they do something for their relationship is unstable without it. The deep demand of duty reveals a deeper need for the gospel. It is in believing Christ’s finish work on our behalf that we rest in Christ and enjoy the relationship He won for us. When we stop our doing and reverse the order, I believe that bringing a giggle to the heart of God. Being always comes before doing. For doing everything but life together is no life at all. The eternal kind of life we are called to his a with God life, where we are known fully and still loved. A life of knowing God, where we know as truly as we are loved (John17:3).
When we let go of our desire to do and open our hearts to just be, life takes on a new dimension. Our vision shifts from our work to His greatness. Our Father is bigger than our doing. He is greater than one hundred generations. He holds history as a fine worked sculpture, the cosmos as pebble in his palm.
God wants us to fellowship with him; depend on him, like a child would its father. He wants children more than workers; children who occasionally act as his instruments but always cry “abba” like his child. As we rest in him – ministry is just obedience, and life just fellowship. It is through such simple obedience and unending fellowship that history has been shaped. Those who first learn to be with God and not just do for him become history makers.
He is the artist, we are the brushes. He makes history we just get to help. We get to finger paint our part in the epic grand narrative. One fine day, we will look back from the eternal shore and see it all so clearly. We will see that in being with God we were molded by him, and through the journey we were both the produce and the instrument in the hands of the redeemer. Yet, in this moment, under the strapping of time and breath, we enjoy life together with God and it is together we mold life into history as we move through it.
You can fake it but you can’t make it. I need not do for him if I am not abiding with him by faith. I am only asked to enjoy the fruit of faith in the gospel; life with my heavenly Father. If I am his desired instrument for his desired season it is only for a season. Yet for eternity, I will always be his child.
When we rest in the finished work of Christ and cease striving. God smiles. When we sit before God’s word, hearing with undivided attention the tales of redemption history. God is happy. When we hear God’s story and by faith enter into that story, seeing self, others and all creation through Christ’s ‘scarlet’ narrative. God is pleased.
For God’s children, being with God, for the sake of God, by the work of God, brings a giggle to the heart of God.
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