A smile creased my face when I came across a card Beth had made. She went through a phase when she was younger in which she signed nearly everything she made, “I love you I like you.” It’s cute. It’s quirky. It’s Beth.
I used to tell the girls when they were young, “I like you. I think I’ll keep you.”
I don’t know where that came from. I wouldn’t doubt that it came from my dad. He has such a corny sense of humor. As a kid, when I’d say, “I’m hungry.” He’d say, “Look in the mirror and get fed up.”
“Dad, will you make me an egg?” His reply, “Poof! You’re an egg!” I learned real fast to ask him to cook me an egg instead.
“I like you. I think I’ll keep you.” I never realized until years later that my youngest perceived that to be, “Sooo, if she doesn’t like me, she won’t keep me?” Although I found her take on it slightly amusing, I will confess that my heart hurt a little that my kiddo thought there was a possibility that I would get rid of her if I didn’t like her. Crazy, what kids think sometimes. Crazy, how we adults make them that way sometimes.
I don’t think we give much thought to our heavenly Father liking us. Heck, it’s hard enough wrapping our mind around His loving us the way He does let alone liking us. I wonder if there are some people who have never even considered it.
How does one get to be liked by God? And if He doesn’t like us will He not keep us?
What about me? What about you? Are we friends of God? Hmm…
I’ve been reading Grace Notes by Philip Yancey for what feels like a hundred years now. His passages usually leave me with so much to think about that I can’t read it everyday. I like to mull things over. What’s been coming back to me is a meeting he had with a woman named Marcia and he asked her about prayer. Part of her response:
“I’m a painter. I pray as I paint, and my painting becomes a kind of prayer. If someone asks me for help in prayer, I tell them to find what they most enjoy and do that, only do it for the glory of God….”
I like that. Do what you enjoy, let that be your prayer, only do it for the glory of God. If I like it, and it pleases God when I do it, Who made me to do that, then we’re hanging out as friends in a way. Just think about it. A hunter’s cathedral is the woods. Creating is what colors an artist’s heart. An athlete finds challenge and strength in the training. A musician’s song is on the plains of the angels. I am a writer. Some of my greatest revelations have come to me while I am simply writing in my journal. I am communicating with God in the language He gave to me and in that state, we are in fellowship, we are one as friends. Why do we make our relationship with our LORD so complicated at times?
I love to ride a motorcycle. I slide in behind my man, wrap my arms around his waist, and off we go. The freedom of no roof or doors to obscure my vision of the sky and the land is intoxicating. It is beautiful! A shooting star, a rainbow, lush, green fields–they all speak of a Creator with infinite imagination. My heart swells with praise and fellowship while on the back of that bike. God knows He’s always more than welcome to join. What a joyous adventure!
And campfires, the glow, the smell, the hot dogs, the s’mores…I can feel the smile of God when I am enjoying this life and the blessings He has bestowed upon me. My being vibrates with His presence. Isn’t that how we feel when we’re with someone we love, whose company we really enjoy? There’s such a…JOY. Yes, that’s it, joy. And a feeling of never quite having enough time together. That feeling is magnified all the more when I am in His presence, when my heart can’t contain His love. His want to spend time with me, for me to get to know Him better can be a wonderful kind of overwhelming. He’s SO good!
I really don’t think it’s that hard to be liked by God. We just need to do what makes us good friends to others and do that with Him. Spend time with Him. Be available to Him. Give ourselves to Him. Sometimes I forget that God’s whole plan for man came because of His want for fellowship, for family. I get so caught up with the cares of this life that I forget to take the time to enjoy Him for Who He is and let Him enjoy me in turn. Yes, I am a friend of God. Admittedly, I am not always the good friend that I hope to be, but I’m getting better. I try to keep this consciousness that He is always with me and He is always welcome, even when it’s for rebuke. Hey, like the good Book says, “Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.” (Proverbs 27:6 NLT ) And there is none more sincere than Him.
Maybe we could join Beth today and tell God, “I love You I like You.” And if we’re quiet enough, I bet we’ll hear the same in return.
You might find yourself singing, or jigging. or doing a little of both to the following song.
Have a wonderful day, my friend. Be sure to spend some of it with the Friend of all friends, the One who sticks closer than a brother.