Camp 2020 (otherwise known as Oma/Papa Camp) has just concluded for our 3 grand-kiddos from out of town. Boy, did we have fun! And boy, are we tired! There is a reason God makes us do the parenting thing during our younger years. We swam twice a day, did all kinds of crafts, painted t-shirts, baked and decorated some really fun little Bundt cakes, put together a fairly hard puzzle, ate Mickey Mouse shaped pancakes…you get it…we were busy! One of the favorite crafts for the girls was making friendship bracelets. I found an easy to follow video which taught me how to make these cool bracelets which in turn let me teach my 2 granddaughters how to make them. At least 10 or 12 bracelets were made in just a few days. For those of you with 6-12-year-old kids or grandkids who like making things, I have attached the video link here to teach you how to do it.
The past few days have reminded me of several things. First, I have been reminded of how incredibly exhausting parenting can be. I fell into bed by 8:45 pm every single night. I had completely forgotten what this kind of tired felt like. I also “found” a group of muscles I had forgotten I had and was once again reminded that my back isn’t as strong as it once was. Each time I have the grandkids for a few days, I am reminded once again that I am getting older!
But for me, the lesson that hit me right between the eyes was how important it is to spend time, lots of time with someone if you want to get to know them better. Having some, one-on-one time with each of my grand-kids gave me a deeper understanding of who they are and how they think. This week I have gathered some new information and I was reminded how wonderful, and unique each of my grandchildren is. This lesson got me thinking…
Just as we must get to know the important people in our lives, we must get to know what God is like. He wants us to know about his character, his attributes, who he is, and what he is like. Learning how and what he thinks about issues like justice, right living and love, builds our faith and trust in him as a Heavenly Father.
But, so often incorrect teaching has kept us thinking God is one way wherein reality he is another way. So many of our thoughts about God are skewed, and this error keeps us from drawing close to Him and keeps us from experiencing peace, joy, and abundant living. We need to know his character. We absolutely need to know who he is!
So how do we do this? We do it by spending time in his word- all of it- reading its entirety. Would you read a novel in bits and pieces? No, it would give you an incorrect view of the plot. God’s word is His story – and reading the entire book will help you know God. Grab an easy to read version like the NLT. Then start at the beginning and just read it. Will you understand it all? No, I sure didn’t but power through it. Leviticus and Deuteronomy won’t last forever. Get the whole story- and over time the puzzle pieces of Scripture will begin to form a more complete story in your mind.
Jeremiah 9:23-24 says, Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”
The prophet is speaking of a coming crisis, foretelling the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem. It was about to get pretty BAD for the people of God. And Jeremiah was warning them that they would only be able to go through this experience well, if they understood and knew their God. They needed to understand his great love, his requirement for justice (discerning right from wrong), and his absolute goodness, purity, and upright character. Jeremiah told the people that when they understood what God was like then God would delight in them. In other words, Jeremiah was saying it makes God happy when his people know him as he is!
Don’t miss that last sentence, it makes God happy when his people know him as he is!
Take time to get to know your God. We don’t know what the future will bring us, whether it will bring us a more difficult time of crisis or not, but the believer who knows his Heavenly Father’s ways will be able to wholeheartedly trust him through it all.