Tonight was Caleb's Birthday Eve. As bedtime approached, you could sense the excitement for the big day tomorrow - his 7th birthday. In addition to sensing it, we all knew it from the silliness emanating from my boy. Long story short, the sillies came out a bit too much and a consequence had to be given - off to bed he went. After a long day of diapers, baking cupcakes, baseballs games, cleaning, cooking, and more, I was relieved to relax on my couch and put my feet up. However, I could hear a quiet whimper travelling from the direction of his room. My Mommy break was over; I headed his way.
When I got to his room, I sat on his bed and leaned over my "big boy" who was laying tummy down. I was suddenly sharing his tears as I pressed my cheek to his. He peered up and said, "I don't deserve any birthday presents!" It was late; I was tired; however, I dare not miss this opportunity for a teachable moment. I could have gone down the road of pride with the little pity party; I could have agreed in a frustration and anger; I could have stayed silent... but I didn't. I said, "Buddy, I am not giving you presents because of what you do, but because I love you... and I don't love you based on what you do... I love you because you are my son. I am giving you presents to show you my love."
As those words rang back in my own ears, I could hear my Heavenly Father repeat those same words. God doesn't love us because of what we do - nope, can't earn His love. And He doesn't stop loving us when we mess up. He loves us because we are His children. And to show us that love, He gave us the ultimate present - eternity in Heaven with Him when you accept his gift of grace. It's offered through the death of Jesus on the cross when He paid the penalty for our sin.
As Caleb accepts all his birthday presents tomorrow, I hope he truly feels my love for him.