We followed the backgrounds home in our green pickup truck. Open communications has always been important as I parent my three daughters. On these ride homes from school, I ask one or two open ended questions until the floodgates open. Once they open though, they don’t close easily.
That day Claire and I had a productive conversation, but as we pulled up to the curb of our home she said, “Madelynn is so popular dad. Everyone knows who she is and likes her. She even got the main part in the song for music class.”
I didn’t know what to say. I stumbled over a few words. I’m sure most of what I said was forgettable. I know it was because I don’t remember what I said.
Then it hit me. Simple. I turned the truck off and looked her in the eyes and said, “Claire, who loves you more than Daddy?” She thought for a moment, “God does.”
“Where is Jesus right now?” Her answer, “In heaven."
“What is he doing?” “Sitting next to God.”
“Claire, guess what? King Jesus who reigns from heaven knows your name. And he loves you.”
She sat silently for a few seconds with her head down. I could tell she was thinking about what I had just said. A slow cooked grin spread across her face. “That is so cool dad.”
The dam broke again. As we left the truck and walked down to the house, she couldn’t stop talking about how King Jesus knew her. That wasn’t a silver bullet conversation. A few weeks later she was expressing frustration again that this girl from her class was singing the solo and she wasn’t.
However, these conversations are important. Not just for our children, but for moms, dads, pastors, and your average Joe and Jane. Fellow bloggers have you ever felt jealous when another blogger was recognized by one of the big fish or received a book deal? Pastors, ever looked at the mega-church next door and got a green? Moms, have you ever looked at the Instagram pictures of that perfect family and envied their home? Dads, have you ever envied another guy’s car, job, life situation, or skills in an area?
Don’t we all see other people’s stuff and envy it? Whether it’s popularity or something else? Yet Christians we have a gift that’s even greater. We are known by king Jesus. The God of all the universe knows us by name, knows our needs, knows our desires, knows our passions and he has unimaginable good planned for us. That good ultimately is Jesus himself, but in the New Heavens and Earth we will also see that good overflow in the earth we inhabit.
A few days back Timothy Keller tweeted this and I just can’t shake it. It’s stuck to the roof of my mouth since I read it.
The only person who dares wake up a king at 3:00 AM for a glass of water is a child. We have that kind of access.— Timothy Keller (@timkellernyc) February 23, 2015
Let that settle in your gut for a moment. That level of intimacy and access is ours in Christ Jesus. We can pray Our Father in Heaven! Let God be our greatest love, hope, and joy and let the chips fall where they may.
When that happens. When we are satisfied in Him, He will change the way we approach the ordinariness of life and the sin, suffering, and sadness of our fallen world. We meet a Savior who comes alongside us and encourages us to keep sojourning. He reminds us that we will receive an “eternal weight of glory” when we see Him (2 Cor. 4:17). And on that day we will see how “our light momentary affliction” (v. 16)—no matter how big or small—prepared us for our greatest joy.
Mathew B. Sims is the author of A Household Gospel: Fulfilling the Great Commission in Our Homes and a contributor in Make, Mature, Multiply (GCD Books). He completed over forty hours of seminary work at Geneva Reformed Seminary. He also works as the managing editor at Gospel-Centered Discipleship and the project manager for the Journal of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Mathew offers freelance editing and book formatting. He is a member at Downtown Presbyterian Church in Greenville, SC.