I started a new job today (in addition to my two other childcare jobs) at my church's preschool. I'm working with one-year-olds (and some younger twos), which makes me VERY happy. I spent three summers of my life working with one-year-olds at a summer preschool program. Though I love kids of all ages, one-year-olds just hold a special place in my heart. There's something about the way they are still so new, yet they're learning SO MUCH about themselves and about the world around them. Most of them haven't learned how to throw tantrums for the sake of throwing tantrums. They cry when they're hurt or sad or scared. They laugh when they're happy. If they fight sleep, it's because they're learning SO MUCH and they don't want to miss anything. They dance and don't care who is watching. They get food all over their faces and delight when we laugh with them about it. In a lot of ways, one-year-olds are the most honest human beings around. I think that's why I get along with them so well.
Today with the kids was good therapy for me. Yesterday was not such a good day. I ended my "writing break" yesterday by literally breaking one of my Dragon Muses...again. (If you're confused, click HERE --and please follow Pneuman! He's getting depressed at the lack of followers!) I fixed him up all right, but yesterday was discouraging for other reasons. I started out with such high hopes yesterday. They crumbled when I started reading over my previous writing. For some reason, it just looked utterly dreadful to me yesterday. Now, today when I read over it, it wasn't as bad as it seemed yesterday. But yesterday I went from being on top of the world to the depths of despair in about 20 seconds.
That's probably one of the occupational hazards of being a writer.
I gave myself a lot of pep talks last night. I prayed through it this morning. I know it's a trust issue. I was trusting in myself again instead of trusting in God. Of COURSE things are going to look hopeless if I'm depending on me. That's because things ARE hopeless if I'm depending on me. Even with this knowledge, Satan still attacked. I remember driving to work this morning wondering, "Lord, why do You even want me to keep writing? It's not like I have anything to give You."
Then I went and hung out with those precious little children whom God made. And one of the little girls brought this picture book about Jesus to me. I don't get to share Jesus with the kids at one of my other jobs, so it's such an exciting thing when I'm actually encouraged to share Jesus with the kids. And I know these kids are so young that there's not much they can understand, but I think kids this age understand love better than a lot of adults I know.
So I was looking at the pictures of Jesus in the book and talking to the little girl about how much Jesus loved her. I turned to one of the pages. It was a picture of a little brown-eyed girl holding out three flowers to Jesus as he hugged her. The little girl I held also had brown eyes, and I was in the process of telling her how she looked like that little girl bringing flowers to Jesus. I was in the process of telling her how she could give things to Jesus, too. I was in the process of telling her how Jesus would love anything she brought Him because He loved her. I was in the process--but I had to stop because my eyes were starting to tear up.
That drawing of the little girl in that picture book all of the sudden became something deeply Spiritual to me. The little girl didn't make those flowers; God did. And when she was taking those flowers to Jesus, she was giving to Jesus something that essentially He had made--something that was already His. Yet it was evident from the smile on Jesus' face in the picture, it was evident from the way he embraced that little girl that He was immensely pleased with her gift. Perhaps the little girl was too innocent to understand that she was giving back to Jesus something that was already His. It doesn't matter whether she knew or not. Jesus was still pleased with the gift. More than that, He was pleased with His child.
This morning I read in Matthew 11: 25-26 "At that time Jesus said, 'I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.'"
It's so hard for me to understand the good pleasure of God. The things that make sense to us don't make sense to Him. His folly is wiser than any of man's wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:20-31). And I'm fond of saying that I'm nothing more than a weak fool. I have nothing to give.
Yet God still gives me breath, and I still have to exhale. All I have is flowers to give to Jesus. It's nothing I made. But it still gives Him good pleasure when I offer it to Him. And those flowers become something much more precious in His hands than they ever were in mine.
The first line of a song I wrote a while back goes like this: "Countless watercolor paintings line Your refridgerator door for in Your eyes our worthless praises, they become something more."
Our offerings are as worthless as we are because we didn't make them anymore than we made ourselves. If anything, we've spent most of our lives unmaking what God originally made to be good. But our offerings have worth because He values them. He values them because He values us.
We're His kids.
Father, help me keep bringing my flowers to You, and may their fragrance be sweet because of Your good pleasure.