I sat on the couch early one morning, the sun not yet up, and fed a bottle to our foster son. It had been a long night. I was worn out and it wasn't even 6am.
But oh how I love that baby boy, and though there was momentary fatigue, the opportunity to care for him was nonetheless a gift to my heart.
After he finished I held him upright and he fell back to sleep with his head nuzzled up to my neck. I had my Bible beside me and sat for a minute staring blankly at it, trying unsuccessfully to decide what to read in my state of delirium.
I realized I felt some vague sense of pressure to do something in order to glean some perfect piece of wisdom for the day.
And then, in the same moment it was if my most loving Father assured me that I didn't need to do anything, but just be. And be loved. He knew my weariness and he wanted to meet me there.
I paused and this came to mind: Love comes from God. We love because He first loved us.
Baby boy lay there sleeping in my arms and I thought about the poignant picture. He was completely at rest, allowing himself to be loved and cared for without resistance. And it was such a joy for me to be able to provide that love and care that he so desperately needed.
I say it's true, but can it truly be that the Lord actually delights in loving me? That my surrender and rest is an act of worship, and pleases him? Even though I've been told he loves me since birth, sometimes it's hard for me to wrap my mind around.
Sitting and resting can be difficult for me when it comes to life in Christ. While living out my faith in word and deed is without a doubt biblical and necessary, I sometimes neglect to spend time focusing on the receiving end. I can tell my children all day long that Jesus loves them, but how often do I let that truth really penetrate my own heart?
I cannot give what I do not have, so I must receive what is being offered to me.
So this year I choose to gratefully receive love as an act of worship.
It's undeserved and it's grace and it's beautiful.