Recently life has been filled with changes and new things. In so many ways this is just great. I thrive on the excitement of change and fresh things in a very real way. I enjoy seasons - both the actual natural seasons of the outdoors, and also the seasons of life.
In the past two years I've become a parent, taken a new job, built new relationships, lost some relationships, gotten a new car, a new computer and a new phone, changed my hairstyle, gotten new clients, learned new web technologies, visited new cities - and the list goes on et cetera.
For the most part I've enjoyed every bit of the new things that come along. Seasons bring renewal, and fresh aspects to life.
But changes also involve pain and difficulty just as much as joy and reward. In fact, many times the hardship of a change is more visible and palpable than the joy behind it.
I've had both in my life lately. And one of the biggest things that comes with change is uncertainty.
This year my wife and I both have quite a bit of uncertainty ahead of us. We are looking at a number of possible major life changes, brought on by one unexpected turn of events in recent months. There is uncertainty all around us, and questions are everywhere.
We have been diligent to stay on top of all the situations we are facing, and also diligent to seek God's will in all of this. It is my strong conviction that through it all, He simply wants us to get more of Him - or rather to give more of Himself to us through these things. And if we will just allow the situations to orient us toward Him, that's what is gonna happen.
Even so, we have doubts and concerns. We are not super-Christians (isn't that an oxymoron anyway?). In fact, that is very clearly why we need Jesus to begin with. But this is also where faith must play it's role.
So last night I was playing in the front yard with my little girl. She loves to just run and explore everything. I was tagging along, mostly just following her around so she didn't get too far away, or so that if she fell I could be there to pick her right back up.
It had been a long week, and a long day, and it was a really nice change of page to get away from the computer screen - away from all my tasks and goals, just to be there with my little girl. I wasn't really aware of much else, actually; just that it was a beautiful evening, the air was clear and cool, and I was there with my adorable little one.
But that's when the most unexpected thing happened inside my heart: I began to be overwhelmed with a spirit of peace. Not just the type of peace you get when you are away from all of your work or normal responsibilities. Something much stronger than that, and much more tangible. The type of peace you only get when God's Spirit is moving inside of you.
It was so seemingly random that I really had to just stop, look up, and acknowledge God. I didn't think much about it for long, either, but I certainly took note. It was really just a strong sense of faith and peace in my heart that God, my Heavenly Father, is with me and going to take care of me.
It wasn't until later when I was telling Ashley what happened and how I felt that I realized what was really going on. I realized that it happened as I was just loving my little girl. At that moment my heart was filled with love for her, and I was just enjoying being with her.
So it seems like God used that moment of really experiencing a father's love to reveal is own similar (but for more infinite and pure) love for me - without me even thinking about it.
Romans 8:14-17 says,
Only those people who are led by God's Spirit are his children. God's Spirit doesn't make us slaves who are afraid of him. Instead, we become his children and call him our Father. God's Spirit makes us sure that we are his children. His Spirit lets us know that together with Christ we will be given what God has promised. We will also share in the glory of Christ, because we have suffered with him.
It's this whole point that God adopts us into His own family as His own children through Jesus Christ and the Spirit of God living inside of us that is so amazing, and results in such amazing peace.
For me, it was just through realizing how much I love my daughter, and how much I desire to be with her, how much I desire her welfare and her joy that I was overcome with the realization that my Heavenly Father loves me the same way, but so much more.
What peace there is in knowing I am His son.