It was a holiday on a Monday. Three day weekends are so glorious. I was so prepared for a peaceful day. All of us, at home, with no plans. Rest. All the good stuff.
Nothing ever goes like it’s planned, right? My husband left early for a workout. And y’all, we were out of so many groceries. I asked my babies what they wanted for breakfast. I’m going to share with you how this conversation went. Are you ready for this dialogue?
Brady: “I want a pancake!”
Olivia: “I want a waffle!”
Brady: “Wait, I want a waffle, too.”
Mom: “Okay, well, we have one waffle left. So Liv gets the waffle and Brady gets the pancake.”
*Peace for about ten minutes. Both children eat their respective pancake and waffle.”
Olivia: “Okay, now I want a pancake, too!”
Mom: “Sorry, babe, we’re out of pancake mix. Brady got the last one.”
Olivia: “Well, can I have cheerios?”
Mom: “Sorry, we’re out of cheerios.”
… Meltdown ensues. I’m talking like a twenty minute ordeal here. I was patient. I gave her the options. I empathized. I was calm. “I’m sorry you want food we don’t have right now. I know that is frustrating…” Epic meltdown continues. I wonder what I’ve done wrong as a parent to bring about this kind of behavior.
So I finally get around to making my breakfast and my darling girl is sitting in the stairway from the living room while I cook in the kitchen. She continues to yell that she’s hungry. I tell her, “I’m not going to have this conversation yelling at you from another room. If you want to talk to me calmly, you can come here.”
I say it again. Once, maybe twice.
“If you would like to come talk to me, you need to come where I am.”
And then, God spoke.
He said, “Go to her.”
And I’m like, “Wait, God. Doesn’t this mean I’m teaching her that I’m giving into poor behavior? I need to stick by what I said!”
And He said, “Go to her.”
I went to her. I knelt down on the stairs. It didn’t fix the conversation. But my face was level with her face. I acknowledged her emotions. All of us de-escalated. Eventually, I found a tiny bag of cheerios to turn our day around.
She didn’t know how to make herself better. She wanted me, but she couldn’t get herself to make the move toward me.
If you stuck with my story this long, kudos to you. Here is the deal, though. This is us. This is us and God. How often are we stuck pitching fits to our calm, perfect Father?
It’s what He does every time. We don’t have to meet Him where He is. When we open the door even a tiny bit: when we sit on the stairs and pout, but our hearts are open to conversation or relationship, He moves toward us.
Most of us are familiar with this verse:
“Come near to God and He will come near to you.”James 4:8
What most of us hear or envision when we read this is a fifty-fifty move. We move halfway, and He meets us there. If we move a certain percentage toward God, only then will He meet us.
And I just have to believe that is simply untrue.
God sent His only Son, who died on the cross, when no one was willing to make a move. In fact, He was rejected and abandoned in every way. It was a zero to one-hundred percentage. Forget fifty-fifty.
He is God. He is worth every fiber of our being. He is worthy of our abandonment of every comfort and every ounce of stubbornness. There should be nothing holding us back from running to Him every second of every day.
But most of the time, there is something that holds us back. Whether weariness or doubt, frustration, depression, or selfishness. And yet, He chooses to move toward us.
Recently, my husband and I found ourselves in a stupid, distant place. We were both tired. We each needed the other person to make a move, and no one was moving. We both knew it, too. Which feels like the worst kind of place to be. We finally had a conversation where we agreed that a fight or disagreement was more important than giving into apathy or distance. We made a move. And we found grace and love there.
This is love.
Love is not stubborn to prove a point.
Love is willing.
Love goes beyond discipline or teaching a lesson.
God is love.
Love over all.
Over discipline or bitterness or confusion.
Are you afraid that your move toward God isn’t big enough?
He knows your heart. He knows what you’re facing. He is kind. He is not stubborn to prove a point. He will err on the side of love, every single time. Are you frozen or stuck in the same spot, unsure to move toward Him? If your heart is open to relationship, that is enough. Come toward Him any way you are able. He knows you. He loves you. That can be enough.
“So now I live with the confidence that there is nothing in the universe with the power to separate us from God’s love. I’m convinced that His love will triumph over death, life’s troubles, fallen angels, or dark rulers in the heavens. There is nothing in our present or future circumstances that can weaken His love. There is no power above us or beneath us – no power that could ever be found in the universe that can distance us from God’s passionate love, which is lavished upon us through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One!” (Romans 8:38-39 TPT)
Nothing. Nothing can separate you from His love.
Nothing is strong enough to pull Him away.
Not even you.