She walked through the door and stared at me for a moment. Her beautiful, brown eyes shone with excitement as she realized I was the one standing in the room. Her heart-melting smile revealed her six beautiful teeth. Her arms were outstretched, awaiting me to carry her and sweep her off her feet. She was running towards me as she always does when she sees me after I have been away from work.
But for a moment, I was hesitant. I did not immediately run to her. There I was dressed in my favourite white shirt, and she was running to me with hands and mouth smeared with chocolate and all what not. In the split moment of my hesitancy, I said, "this is the end of this white shirt, but it is nothing compared to my daughter." Then I walked towards her, lifted her up and gave her a peck. It was one of those moments when I had to remind myself that God has been more than good to me.
As I reflected on this incident, I recalled the words of Jesus, "Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." [Matthew 19:14 NASB] God does not expect us, as we come into His presence, to have worked hard to become free of sin and be perfect. He is such a loving father who receives us with open arms when we come to Him. My daughter was not self-conscious, no, she did not even know she was covered in chocolate, nor she did not know what the smears could do to my white shirt. In the same vein, our gracious God wants us to come boldly into His throne of grace, just as we are, for there we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
Understand that your heavenly Father loves you unconditionally. Nothing can separate you from this love He has for you. If we know how to love and give good gifts to our children, then I believe our heavenly Father, who is love, can do much more than we can ask or think.
And so as I make my requests known to Him, I am no longer coming into His throne of grace with sin-consciousness. I know He loves me. I know His arms are always opened wide to receive me. I know that when He looks at me He sees me as the apple of His eye, His righteousness in Christ Jesus, and not one smeared with sin. I am coming to Him just as I am, this time naked and not ashamed.
What about you?