"The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing."
- Zephaniah 3:17
I don't think I will ever be able to shake this image of my first child Ali. Each of our children has some absolutely adorable face imprinted in my brain, but this one started it. Besides how cute she is, I love the amazement in her eyes. I would love to think it was the guy behind the camera inspiring this face, but it was more likely due to the camera itself. Still, I loved that the photo snapped when it did.
It hits me more and more, the longer I am a father, that God loves and adores me much more than I do my own children, which is saying something. He created me and loved the cute faces I made (no, really, I made cute faces - just ask my mom or see below). He still does adore me...and you! He adores us so much that He wouldn't allow our many sins to keep us from His eternal presence. So, He sent His adored Son (the One He knew from eternity - Jesus) to take our place in death. Wow! That seems quite unfair and yet is SO loving.
Christ also said that He would be with those who believed in Him until the end of the age. As promised Jesus sent His Spirit to live in us, console us, comfort us until we are with Him in the place He is preparing for us so that we can be where He is. He wants us to be with Him! Why? Because Christ adores us.
I attended another wedding this past weekend. There is nothing like seeing the adoration in the eyes of a bride and groom. It is also neat to watch how the father of the groom often welcomes the bride into their family (sometimes as a daughter he never had). We are said to be the bride of Christ. We are engaged to our heavenly groom, who will love us forever. The Father adores us, not just more than a father would his child, but as His Son's precious bride too. He has promised a grand feast to celebrate the wedding...and that will be a feast.
My son Judah, who is closing in on two years old has quite a smile. Sure, I admit to bias. Judah breaks the smile out often, but especially when he knows someone who cares about him gives him attention. There resides in us a well of deep joy that is waiting to be opened and only the approval of our Father through the sacrificial death of our groom, Jesus Christ can open it. Once open this well nourishes our soul and allows us to tell others (with a big child-like smile) something we now know - that they too are absolutely adored.