Basking in His Grace- Part 2
I love “to-do” lists. My husband, on the other hand, will never fully understand this part of me. He watches in wonder (and fear) as I take a few minutes each night to perfect my to-do list for the next day.
I admit it. I take great pleasure in crossing each task off the list, one by one, as I accomplish them throughout the day. Some tasks are trivial, some are meaningful. Regardless, it feels good to watch my progress. (I’m an ESFJ on the Myers Briggs if that helps you understand my fascination with lists.)
Some might say I need to be medicated for this fascination. Perhaps they are right. What I can say with certainty is that my fascination with lists has a lot to do with my need to see progress. It’s the “do more, try harder” part of me that is still fighting for it’s rightful place in my fallen heart. Let’s face it - I like to-do lists because they make me feel like progress is being made. And who doesn’t want to make progress?
But there is a big difference in making progress on my “to do” list for daily tasks and making progress on my “to do” list for living the Christian life.
And the more I understand about God’s radical grace, the more I realize that progress in the Christian life is letting go of my to-do list for God and basking in what God has already done for me. His grace is just so counterintuitive!
So what if I put my typical to do list aside for today and I rocked one that looked more like this:
FRIDAY TO DO:
1. Know that Jesus loves you.
2. The end
What if that was it?
I know what you might be thinking- “That’s not realistic. Kids have to be picked up and taken to sports. Groceries have to be purchased. Diapers have to be changed.” I get it.
But what if our to-do list started with “Know that Jesus loves you.” What if that was our starting place today, and tomorrow, and the next?
How would that change the way we tackled the rest of our to-do list? How would that change our interactions with our friends and “neighbors.” How would that change the way we parent our kids? How would that change what we expect from our spouses? How would that change the way we respond to the trials we will face today?
How would a to-do list that starts with “Know that Jesus loves you” change everything else we do today? Well, in John chapter 15 Jesus answers that question. He says, “Know that I love you….. Remain in my love for you…… so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.”
John 15: 9-11
As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in His love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
I’m thinking about all of this today because I had the privilege of sharing a little bit about my own journey in surrendering to God’s grace at a group called the MOB last night. (M.O.B. being Mothers of Boys!) I know I gained more than I gave. The room was rich with wisdom (and laughter!) from moms whose boys have gone on to get married and have children of their own to moms with 2 year olds who have just started on their parenting journey.
The theme for the night was delighting in our kids, even in times of discipline. So much of what we discussed was around the truth that until we know God’s endless delight in us as parents, it is difficult (or perhaps impossible) to pour His endless delight into our children. We all had to ask ourselves, “Do we believe that the Lord delights in us? Do we put our weight on that? And how does that infuse our parenting?”
Unfortunately I think that because we so often hear the expression “Jesus loves you” we tend to respond with, “Yeh, yeh, I know, Jesus loves me. Got it.” So today I hope you can hear, as we all did last night, “Know that I. love. YOU” with the depth and delight in which Jesus says it to you.
In Psalm 147:11 we read:
The Lord delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love.
The Lord delights in our hope and trust in His unfailing love for us. He desires to flood us with the riches of His grace and His love, which can then overflow into our kids and whatever it is that the rest of our day, or our to-do list, holds.