How do you think God views your role as a mother? With His arms crossed, thinking you need to do better at being patient and loving, not to mention get more vegetables into your toddler, keep the house picked up, and hold your baby more?
Do you think God gave you the family He did because He thought you could handle it, and when you don’t seem to be juggling it all so well, He is sitting back, rubbing His temples because you’ve let Him down again?
If we served a single-person God, these responses would be much more likely. His feelings toward us would be based on our performance. If we were expected to be a good parent in our own strength, we’d fail every time.
But that was never the plan.
An Eternity of Love
If a single-person God didn’t have anyone to love until humans came around, He couldn’t be eternally loving. . . because who would there be to love? Himself?
Glen Scrivener, in his article, “The Trinity Saved My Life” said, “You loved me before the foundation of the world” – that’s how Jesus describes eternity in John 17:24.
“Before there was anything, there was love. The Father, by the Spirit, has eternally poured His love onto and into His Son. In other words: “God is love” (1 John 4:8).
“God is this loving communion of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”
So why would He bother with us, knowing that we’d choose evil and fail each day in loving others completely?
I often have the best intentions to treat Christopher with love when he comes home from work, but then petty annoyances and selfishness in wanting to be served slithers in, poisoning my time with my family.
Scrivener goes on to write about the Trinity that “this relationship is the explanation for everything else.
“Their love was too good to keep to themselves. From the overflow of their life together, the Father has created a world, through His Son and by His Spirit.
“We have been birthed out of love and destined to share in it.”
The Verdict Is In
So what does that mean for our nose-wiping, food coaxing, band-aid giving days (and nights)?
You will never get it right. And you don’t have to.
The love of the Father and Son flowed onto us when Jesus came to earth, lived a perfect life, paid for our sins by His death, and rose from the dead to daily intercede for us to the Father on our behalf.
The Father delights in us because we have been covered in the Son’s righteousness, and no amount of sin or failures can change that.
Mike Reeves, in his book Delighting in the Trinity, wrote, “This God makes no third party suffer to achieve atonement. The one who dies is the Lamb of God, the Son. And it means that nobody but God contributes to the work of salvation: the Father, Son and Spirit accomplish it all.”
Lifting Our Eyes
So when we think that we have to be more loving, have more faith, or trust more, we need to shift our focus.
I can’t force myself to become more loving. Love is a fruit of the Spirit, something that can only flow out of us when we’ve received the love the Father wants to lavish on us. .
We can’t squeeze our eyes shut and decide to have more faith (even if Hollywood would lead us to believe differently). That, too, is a gift to be received from our Father who longs to draw our hearts to Himself.
Even trusting God is not something that I can purpose to do any more than I can say I’m going to trust a friend—either I do or I don’t. Trust comes from being in a relationship. When we struggle to trust God, we can choose instead to meditate on the One who is trustworthy.
Salvation and grace aren’t perks thrown at us by a benevolent dictator God. They are part of enjoying the relationship we’ve been adopted into by a loving Father.
He is salvation.
He is grace.
Reeves goes on to say, “For it is only when you grasp what it means for God to be a Trinity that you really sense the beauty, the overflowing kindness, the heart-grabbing loveliness of God.”
Just imagine if we could begin each day (or wake up each night) remembering and delighting in our loving Father, salvation-giving Jesus, and empowering Spirit?
If, when the discouragement started seeping in because of the half-folded laundry and crumbs sticking to our bare feet, we reminded ourselves of the future hope of a perfect world with Jesus that each sunrise brings us closer to?
Teeth-gritting resolve will only bring failure when our strength is spent.
Why not use that energy to focus again on the One who delights in being our strength?