She comes running up to me with a smile of pure joy on her face. I drop to my knees and spread my arms wide. Then she’s in my arms and, while she reaches as far as she can to return the embrace, her hands barely come to my shoulders. She leans her head against me and takes a few deep breaths, just happy to be held. She is deeply satisfied, and so am I.
Her name is Bella, and she is one year old. She isn’t my daughter, but that of a close friend, and I love her with all my heart. Whenever she runs to me, it fills my heart with joy; and, as we share an embrace, peace washes over both of us.
I know that, as she comes to me, so God wants us to come to Him. He is our Father; He created us; He watches us grow; and He waits anxiously for us to come to Him – and when we do, He rejoices.
When the disciples rebuked the children coming to Him, Jesus said, “Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” (Mark 10:14-15)
And so we must run to God, as Bella runs to me; for only in Him can we find deep satisfaction, reaching into our spirit. And as it gives me joy when Bella embraces me, so God finds joy when we run to Him.
Kevin, you have done a wonderful job illustrating Jesus' words about children, and our own longing to be, as Bella is to you, delighted in relationship with our Heavenly Father. I'm a sucker for any stories about children, and this one has stolen my heart.