I want to introduce you to one of God's favorite people.
(Before you get your panties in a wad, know that He has a lot of favorite people. In fact- we're all his favorites. Papa is incredibly, and uniquely, fond of you.)
This is my little friend, who I am calling Amira. She completely stole my heart. She walked into camp one day wearing not one, but two, tiaras. My girl rocked them. We ended up playing catch with a balloon for about 30 minutes while I just prayed for her and grinned like a fool.
Fun fact of the day: I went on this trip knowing exactly one word in Arabic. And God whispered it to me as I played with this little nugget.
I could not speak another word to this child other than the absolute truth of who she is. Princess: chosen and adored by her heavenly Baba who bestows on her an inheritance of power, dignity, and worth greater than she can even imagine right now.
Later, I got to help her family load onto the bus. As they approached, she ran up to me grinning, grabbed my face, and pulled me down to kiss me on both cheeks. We then proceeded to play games through the windows of the bus until they pulled away.
As they left, my teammate walked up and he spoke the absolute truth: "that one was a hug straight from Jesus." I then proceeded to go cry for about 20 minutes.
Within that, like, 45 minutes of interaction with this child, Jesus completely wrecked me. He let me feel a tiny, miniscule amount of the love that He actually feels for his children and it was completely overwhelming.
He is so smitten with that girl. Oh my days.
He thinks about her and just about explodes with joy. Her giggle, her pigtails, her uninhibited affection- He thinks that she is just the greatest thing!
And the plans He has for her... the world better watch out. As I stood there, praying for the busload as they left, Baba God just started whispering promises. That He will do, and is doing, EVERYTHING to reach that little girl. He will stop at nothing to pour on his love and to introduce himself. He knows her real name, and He is calling it.
This child will move mountains. She will know Jesus and the truth of his power and the freedom found in his name. She will be a walking testimony to his grace, faithfulness, and redemption.
My friends, imagine. If this is just a fraction of how much God loves this little girl, think about how much He must love each of us. Every mother, father, and child in these camps. Your neighbor. You. Me.
He's smitten. And sometimes it totally freaks me out.
If I have no problem believing that He will go to the ends of the earth to reach this girl, that He longs to give her good gifts and to use her so fully for his glory, then why is it sometimes hard for me to believe that He feels that way about me? Do you believe it about yourself?
I have a feeling that if we truly lived into his love for us, fear would never be an obstacle. We would pray with expectancy, trusting our Father who wants to give us good things. We would hold things less tightly and be more open to sharing the blessings that we have been given because we know that He will give us everything that we need. We would walk boldly wherever He leads- because what can anyone do to us when we are adored by the Commander of Kingdom armies?
I'm praying in this season that Baba God will help me to live loved. To help me to accept and to rest in his over-the-top affection for me. I'm praying that for Amira. And I'm praying that for you right now.
I also CAN'T WAIT to introduce you to her in heaven. Maybe this time I'll do the running up to her. I'm pretty positive I'll recognize her by the TWO crowns she casts at the feet of Jesus.