My husband and I like to take our sons out for some one-on-one time where we build joy and chat about whatever is on their minds. While we don’t get to do these as often as we would like, they are a sweet time of heart-to-heart connection and fellowship. (We call these “Mommy dates” and “Daddy dates.”)
I was on a “Mommy date” recently with my 9-year-old son, Matthew. After picking up some ice cream, we walked along Lake Michigan. It was a beautiful, sunny spring day. We took our sandals off and let the sand squish between our toes as the water lapped our feet for a few minutes before continuing our walk. Matthew often stopped to inspect a rock, shell, plant or other treasure that caught his eye as we were walking, and he would respond with excitement over each new discovery.
As I watched my son walk in front of me, I noticed how his steps created footprints in the sand. I also noticed a strong sense of delight and Jesus’ presence with us as we walked.
I wanted to invite Matthew to have the same awareness, so I asked Him, “Matthew, what do you think Jesus is doing right now?” He responded that he wasn’t sure. I suggested he reflect on another recent time when he was aware of Jesus’ presence, then ask Jesus where He was in this moment.
Matthew reflected for a few moments on a previous interaction with Jesus, then we asked Jesus together “Lord, where are you right now?” Matthew’s face broke into a smile, and he shared with me, “Jesus is here, and He is smiling!” This response brought an even bigger smile to my face. I then invited Matthew to ask another question. “Jesus, what do You want me to know about how You see me?”
Matthew’s smile grew even bigger. He reported, “Jesus is excited to be with me, and He thinks I am a treasure!” This was such a neat thought. I said, “You mean, like how you are so excited to find a shell or a quarter as we walk along the beach, and how you hold tightly to your treasure? Does Jesus see you as His treasure?” Matthew then nodded his head emphatically.
It is remarkable how these simple moments can turn into opportunities to enjoy God’s gifts and presence. Do you feel like you are Jesus’ treasure? No matter what is going on in your life, Immanuel is so glad you are His child!
Often, we go to Jesus when we are experiencing painful things in our lives or when we are confused and in need of some important guidance. Thankfully, God is delighted to meet us there. But have you considered talking with Jesus in the good times as well?
Jesus gave us an important example of how He lived His life pursuing the peace and perspective of His heavenly Father. He often gave thanks to the Father and spent quality time speaking the Father’s words and seeking the Father’s will. (1)
We should follow this example. So today, I encourage you to take some time to start with appreciation and gratitude, then ask Jesus what He wants you to know about how He sees you. Not only can this lead to a great moment of joy with Him, but starting the practice of interacting with Jesus when things are going well also strengthens our connection so we can better find His peace when we need it most.
- John 12:49-50