I recently became a friendship partner through my county's Children's Services volunteer program. I was paired with a sweet, but rather sassy :) ten-year-old girl about a month ago who absolutely loves to go skating. So naturally, when the program hosted its annual roller skating party, we were one of the the first to RSVP. Not only did me and my friend manage to not fall the entire night, but I had a fun time watching all of the other children with their volunteers having a great time.
But one little boy in particular caught my eye that night. He looked about 8, had blond hair, a baggy t-shirt and jeans, and a rather focused facial expression that portrayed nothing but pure contentment. No matter how hard this boy tried, he could not stay upright in his skates. I have never seen anyone so uncoordinated! The more he tripped and dived, the more I smiled. And before I knew it, I was being my overly emotional self and had tears in my eyes, realizing that I had so much love for this little boy I had never even met.
And you know what, I think that's exactly how God sees us. As we're slipping and sliding and barely able to stand, he's looking down on us, smiling, filled with so much love that He is brimming with delight.
I think it's really easy for me to forget this fact as I go about my typical week. There are so many times when I just want to scream--"I'm trying Lord, I'm really trying!" When in reality I eventually end up throwing in the towel, defeated. Sure, it's easy to lie to myself, to tell myself that I'm "trying." But to lie to my Creator? The one being who literally knows everything about me. Who am I kidding?
Trying is not something I can do by my effort alone. When I'm trying to pull energy out of nothing, it only makes sense that I eventually call it quits. But rather, I'm learning how to be filled with the love God has for me, the joy He has in me (His creation!) even when I'm face-planting in the skating rink. It's only after I allow God's truth and promises to fill me, that I can truly try and succeed. Because then, and only then, am I giving out of a satisfied spirit rather than an empty one.
God honors my effort, but I also believe He has great empathy for me as I try to make it even one lap around the rink on empty fuel. Every time I fall, He's smiling saying trust in me, experience my love, we can do this together.
It never ceases to amaze me how God can use one little boy's clumsiness to teach me so much about Him.