Friday, August 12, 2011

God: Father or Host?

We like to entertain and our guest rooms are often full. Most of the time, guests are not family members, but anyone from sweet friends, to occasional hangers-on, to near, needy strangers. Whoever they are, we believe God brings them and we try to make them comfortable accordingly. Recently, though, as we welcomed our granddaughter for a couple of weeks, I realized something important about guests.

Through Him (Jesus), we have access to the Father by the Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners or aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household.--Ephesians 2:18-19

A chasm of difference yawns between the way I welcome a young unrelated guest and the way I welcome a granddaughter. For a casual guest, I fluff pillows in the same way, and make sure she has toiletries and clean towels in the same way, but do not concern myself so much about whether she brushes her teeth every morning or eats properly or what poet she may prefer so I can plan for her next birthday gift. And I certainly do not giggle at infant resemblances in family pictures or discuss which pieces of my jewelry she may prefer to inherit. Nor does a casual guest ask for advice regarding college choices with an expectation that I will be there later to help. An unrelated guest does not have privileges like these. On the surface, relatives act respectfully and with consideration for one another just as we would to anyone, but underlying expectation and responsibility apply from both sides that we cannot ignore.

So exists my relationship with God. I am his daughter. He has adopted me. Without Him, I would still live in His lovely world, would still see the sun every morning and the stars every night. I would eat the food He has provided and smell the flowers He made and hear a bird call. I could not, however, lay any claim to it. I would be a guest in His world, able to use what He provided, but only for the short time I stay.

As a daughter, and only as a daughter, I have rights and privileges. God makes His guests comfortable, but He loves His children as His own. I know I have an inheritance and bear His resemblance. As a daughter, I have responsibility to Him and He teaches me. As a daughter, I learn the family secrets, the truths, and am invested for the long haul. As a daughter, I do not only enjoy the guest room of earth, I know that the inheritance of heaven is already prepared.

Thought for today: How do you understand your daughterhood or sonship?

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