Being with God 

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My wife gave me a t-shirt for Christmas with a slogan that reads “My favourite people call me ‘Papa’”—it also has a miniature caricature of each of my seven grandchildren. It’s my favourite shirt. At some stage during the Christmas holidays—which I was privileged to spend with them all—those who can speak all came up and wanted to be shown and reminded that they were on the shirt. I think it was a psychological affirmation they wanted to be connected.  

My grandchildren are different in many ways: they have different parents, personalities and likes and are between seven months and seven years in ages. Some I have seen a lot recently—others I have rarely seen. Some immediately came up to me with a loud “Papa” and a big cuddle, while others took a day or more to warm up and wondered why this somewhat stranger seemed to matter to their parents and/or siblings. No way were they going to give me a cuddle. As a grandfather my natural inclination was to hold them anyway or show them something interesting.  My desire was to deeply connect with them. However, this would be forcing myself on them and love doesn’t force (1 Corinthians 13).

I remember walking along the beach one afternoon with many of the family, when one of the more reserved grandchildren came to me, grabbed my hand and began to run with me from the incoming waves. This happened for 15 minutes and my soul rejoiced. There were other rejoicing moments with each of the grandchildren: reading stories, listening to their imaginations, just holding them, playing with their new toys, riding bikes . . . It really didn’t matter what we were doing, we were connecting.  

As I valued these precious experiences I reflected on my Heavenly Father and His desires just to connect with me (Luke 11:11-13). He desires time with me. He wants to remind me that I am loved, valued, protected, provided for and part of the family.  That being unique I have a special place in His heart.

As a disciple of Jesus, I am going to try and have some special quiet times with Him this year–just resting in His presence and connecting.

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