Dear Ones –
Sometimes I think everyone should have a child just so they can grow as a person. I know that mine teach me so much. Each one has their own unique personality. Each ones looks at life a little differently. They challenge me to see through their eyes. And in doing so, I become more than I ever was before.
Yummy teaches me moment by moment to ask the why questions in life. He is teaching me to never take a simple “no” when persistence can pay off into a yes. He is also teaching me when to stand firm on the hard “no’s” in life and that sometimes it’s okay to just say “yes” right away. Squeaky is enjoying teaching me how important the yes’es are in life too. I often think that for him the word “no” means “yes”…(except when you ask him if he needs some sort of punishment for his behavior -then “no” definitely means “no”).
In the midst of teaching me all about the yes there is another lesson that they’ve been teaching me that coincides with it and that is – run into life with arms wide open. My kids live on an excitement high of what’s coming next. They can’t wait to see what’s around the corner. They will jump off high heights, arms flung wide waiting for Mommy or Daddy to catch them. They will run to the door to see who might be coming to see them or where they can head off to next.
In 2000 Scott Staph put out a song called “With Arms Wide Open”. I know a lot of people have a lot of opinions about Creed, but no matter what you have to admit that the words to this song are beautiful. He talks about the wonder of finding out that he was going to be a dad and how he was going to welcome his child with arms wide open. He also said he hoped that his child would welcome all of life that same way. That idea has stuck with me and I have often longed to welcome life that way. I must admit it’s a very hard thing for a realist to do.
As I’ve started thinking about this lesson my new teachers are teaching me I went to the Word to see what my Ultimate Teacher wanted me to see…
Psalm 5:11 (But You’ll welcome us with open arms when we run for cover to you. Let the party last all night! Stand guard over our celebration. You are famous, God, for welcoming God-seekers, for decking us out in delight.)
1 Corinthians 16:23 (Our Master Jesus has His arms wide open for you.)
WOW…could there be a better example? The way He welcomes us. God’s arms are wide open for me. God’s arms are wide open for you! We are not only invited into His arms, but He eagerly desires that we come into them.
And then Jude reminds us how we freely we can live. Jude 1:20 (But you, dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in this most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying right at the center of God’s love, keeping your arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ. This is the unending life, the real life!)
It does seem like this is easier for kids. They haven’t been battered about by the circumstances of life. They haven’t been knocked around by other people. They have yet to experience a life tragedy. And yet, seeing them jump into our arms having no fear that we might miss catching them…there is something I long for in that. I long to be so free that fear doesn’t hold me back…that disappointment in myself and others doesn’t hold me back.
I am so glad I am starting to see through my children the joy that can be had through living a life with arms wide open. To be able to laugh and giggle without motive. To be able to express love without restraint and with no need for reciprocation, but just to show love. To welcome all that comes my way regardless of the possible outcomes. To know that my Father has the very best for me and that in times of trouble I can always run into His arms.
I wish with all my heart that you might find this secret too. I wish that you might find a way to welcome life with your arms wide open. I wish that you find the freedom to run into the wide open arms of your Father that wait just for you…ALWAYS.