Tuesday, August 21, 2012

how to know God

He comes home from Vacation Bible School and seems defeated.

Because, he doesn't know the stories that the leaders implied he should know. Bible lessons were referenced in a general sense, and it seemed expected as though the kids already have a familiarity with them. At least that's how this momma senses was the perception of a seven-year-old boy.

I haven't taught my child many Bible stories. He doesn't have scripture on his tongue. Part of me feels shame over this.

Right as I begin to feel sadness for falling short, and I think of a few friends of mine who probably do the Bible lesson teaching-thing so much better than me, He changes my perspective.

He reminds me that studying Him is different from knowing Him. 

And that lesson is the most important.

Because, He doesn't like the church-going-good-girls more than me. He loves them just as much as me--the one who, perhaps surprisingly, hasn't gone to church in over a year and who, admittedly, hasn't made attending church a priority.

Jesus is a familiar name in our house. Together we give Him thanks for our meals and our day. Most of all, He's in our heart--all the time.

When my child lays his head down at night, I whisper truths to him about how he was made--uniquely and individually, for purpose--by our ultimate Father.

I tell him how I see God in the collection of my day's memories. We give thanks for His gifts--even the hardest ones to acknowledge as such because they seem so gritty and broken up, not perfectly beautiful on the surface.

I explain that beauty comes from the broken. The darkest days makes the brilliant colors shine the best. 

I tell him that disappointments happen in life this side of Heaven. God uses those moments to draw us to His gentle heart.

I admit how I fall short of making the right choices. Daily. He leads me to His forgiveness and love.

I share how broken me lives this pieced-together life of grace. I choose to trust in truth.

The Boy-Man asks me to read him the Bible at bedtime. And we have. But after a few days I wanted him to understand that studying the stories doesn't make him a better Christian...or even a Christian.

Reading the Bible doesn't mean we will know God any more. The story of our days reminds us of His living hand massaging our own heart to give us life.

Knowing Him is so much more than we make it out to be.

In the *whirl and twirl* of life, He is there. Constantly inviting us to unwrap His love. His grace.

He's the same God Noah served. And Adam. And Moses. And David. And Hannah. And Abraham. The same One.

I know Him more every day as I sit in my chair and write...
     and watch the sun awaken life...
          and hear myself choose grace for my sometimes rude child...
     and notice the kindness of my groom...
          and watch how my schedule becomes His...
     and see my own mother's heart soften in the embrace of my child...

I know Him more through the moment-by-moment challenges and joys. 
     Because, it's all for purpose. It's all grace. It's all His blessing. 

Recently I read Bob Goff's book, Love Does, and I was struck at the way Bob acknowledges how God is in every thing. He wrote about truth that studying God doesn't mean we know Him.

One night I chose not to read the Bible The Boy. I deliberately said no. He fought a little bit because I think he thought it is necessary. I tried to explain to him that we're not religious and there aren't rules to follow--there's just an invitation to acknowledge Him, and that no matter what we do He will always be in our heart.

I prayed that He would be enough for the Boy-Man. That, when he asked how God speaks to us, that He would answer him best. That Jesus would help him to know Him--even as I fall short as a parent.

Knowing God happens when we See Him in the *whirl and twirl*. Plain and simple. 


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