My two-year-old son has recently learned how to open his door.
Matthew is a very independent toddler, or at least he wants to be — “ME!” or “MY TURN!” or “NUH UH!” is something you’ll hear quite often if you’re at my house. It’s not so much that he’s being selfish (although he is) but rather that he wants to flex his muscles and grow as a little person.
Drying him off after a bath? “ME!”
Putting away a toy of his? “ME!”
Picking a book for story time? “ME!”
So when I was drinking coffee early this morning at the kitchen table and heard his door knob start to move back and forth, I shouldn’t have been surprised.
But I was…
I walked into the hallway partly out of curiosity.
What was that noise?
Did we have a rodent problem?
Was Ruthie, our older daughter, waking up?
And I was greeted by a very proud boy, smiling ear to ear, pointing at the door he had just opened all by himself.
I thought he’d want to walk around the house (it’s more of a strut, really, especially when he’s done something he’s proud of) but what he did next caught me off guard.
He lifted up both arms and started running towards me. He got to my feet and nearly started to cry, trying to sound out the words “UP!” and “HUG!”
So I picked him up and he buried his face into my shoulder. He grabbed my face with both hands and looked at me, studying my beard and my nose and my ears. And then he gave me a kiss and went back to burying his face into my chest.
In the midst of my son’s latest crowning achievement with independence he wanted desperately to be with me, his dad, to the point of running and crying and yelling.
As I was reflecting on it later that morning, it was such a beautiful picture of how Jesus sees our relationship with the Father. He wants us to grow and develop and sprout — but not entirely on our own.
And how do we do that? By faith that is rooted in trusting God.
Next time you do something you’re proud of… remember the Father who is very, very proud of you. And go run to Him as though you needed Him to live. Sit with Him. Bury your face in His shoulder. Look into His face and study it.
A branch stays attached to a vine so that it can thrive.
My son stays attached to me for the same reason.
And we can all run to God and abide in Him to feel the same sort of fulfillment whenever we want.
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