Scrap booking is one of my hobbies. Reshaping photos, selecting patterned pages, cutting borders and journaling fill my spare time with memories and creativity.
My first scrapbook was created after my sister and I spent a year working and travelling throughout the United States and Canada. We came home to our parents’ farm in northern New South Wales and happily sat at either end of the kitchen table, reliving our memories through conversation as we built our albums.
You don’t have to take a big trip to make a scrapbook. I visited my friend, Jess, and she and her mother were eagerly working on pages of their beloved daughter and granddaughter. Jess showed me what she had done, then proceeded to pull objects from a cardboard cylinder. Baby’s first jumpsuit, medical cards, socks, even the remnants of her umbilical cord.
I watched the proud look cross this young mother’s face, and I marvelled. Not yet a mother myself, I can only imagine the joy your very own child brings. A part of you had entered the world. And you want to protect what is yours from all harm. You love and cherish your baby, feed and nurture him/her and offer comfort and care.
How like God. I imagine God is keeping scrapbooks up in heaven of all of His dear children. I can just see Him beckoning angels to surround Him as He works on a scrapbook page. To watch as He applies double-sided tape to a photograph of His son taking His first steps. Then in another album, He cuts a perfectly round circle of His twenty-one year old princess. He brushes aside a tear as He thinks about her choosing the world’s ways at this time in her life. Yet our Dad knows the end from the beginning. His scrapbooks could be complete before we are even born. But I imagine He shares in each stage of our life’s walk, just as Jess and her Mum were doing.
The Bible says, “For many are called, but few chosen.” Matthew 20:16b. If only every person born on this earth would acknowledge the Creator as their Father, for this is who He is, and wants to be known as. I think about the possible scrapbooks that are destined for eternal fire. Countless boys and girls whom God calls, but they aren’t listening.
As God’s cherished children, none of us are perfect. God’s scrapbooks of His boys and girls highlight His love for us, in spite of our slip-ups and mistakes. A proud father, Almighty God sees us through His beloved Son, Jesus. “We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags.” Isaiah 64:6a. But just like Jess and her Mum didn’t showcase the pain of childbirth or the dirty nappies in their scrapbooks, so too God sees what we can be. He sees us as His children.
In 1 John, the phrase, “little children”, appears eight times in five chapters. That is how God views us. The scrapbook of your life should be a process of spiritual growth. The trials should serve as character-building experiences. Know that your Dad is right with you, championing you as you run the race with Him.
“Nevertheless I am continually with You; You hold me by my right hand. You will guide me with Your counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.” Psalm 73:23-24
Next time you scrapbook, or see a friend scrap booking, think about God’s scrapbook. He has an album devoted to you. He cares about you, and everything you go through. You don’t have to do anything to make Him proud of you. As your father, it comes naturally.