God’s Affirming Grace

Today I thought, you know, there’s a lot I can endure if I just know I am doing the right thing.

I suppose it’s seeking approval and the desire to know I am accepted. These aren’t inherently bad things, unless at my core I am trying to fill a void that only God can fill, by running around aimlessly trying to please people.

With faith, this shifts to seeking God’s approval and desiring to do His will. If I know His delight and good pleasure in me, all is well. What’s beautiful about our God is we already have his delight and good pleasure in us.

When we turn our focus to Him and love Him and our neighbors, we feel it, we can receive it.

Today was such an affirming day filled with His grace. It was a typical summer Sunday, so it had a slower, more relaxed pace. Then in Sunday school, as we were answering the question about gifts we have and using them, a child answered that they were “kind like my sister.” I know, precious! It is a true gift to hear sweet innocent children speak truth.

How many of us as adults will unabashedly claim our gifts? What followed however was the sweetest gift for me, filled with God’s delight and good pleasure in me. Another child looked at me with the brightest smile and said “like you, you are kind.” She didn’t have to, and she isn’t one to shower compliments, let alone even enjoy being in Sunday School and yet here she was proclaiming my kindness. “Thank you,” I said, “that really touches my heart” and it did and it does and I am grateful.

Out on the playground this same morning another parent approached me to let me know how much her son, entering 5th grade, had enjoyed VBS. Now, you have to be familiar with both 5th graders and VBS to know that they often do not go together like peanut butter and jelly. In fact, here at Good Sam we invite our 6th graders to be helpers and it is amazing how engaged they can be with that responsibility.

Anyway, this child had so taken to the worship music that he was sharing it with his mom with great enthusiasm. She even reported hearing him alone in his bedroom singing the songs. I can just hear him now “through the storm, you never let go of me.” This VBS program with 125 kids, 50 youth volunteers and 25 adult volunteers takes just what you’d think it takes to pull off, and then some more. I’d do it every day to know a ten-year-old boy was shouting praises to God alone in his bedroom!

childOne of my Sunday School teachers also shared on Sunday about his daughter’s great enthusiasm over getting to church. She’s two. Upon his announcing, “come on girls let’s get ready for church,” she marches over to the door, not fed and still in her pajamas. “Chuh..ch” she proclaims over and over pointing to the door. And, when they arrive at church this two-year-old runs to the nursery and can’t wait to get in the door. Praise God for this place and the teachers who fill it with love, excitement, nurture, care, God’s word and His love.

So, thank you God for today, for your grace that showed up assuring me of your delight and good pleasure in me and in all my team and all our teachers and in our Good Sam community. May we all continue to proclaim your love to the children and each other and in doing so receive all we need from you.

If you’d like to join in on this life giving, affirming, fun ministry of serving our children, please contact me at tracy.defina@good-samaritan.org. We have several spots open helping in our Sunday school classes for the fall. Kindness required!