So, today Eliza was being a "helper," chatting away while I put on my make-up. To say that her stream of consciousness is entertaining would be an understatement. All of a sudden she says, and I quote, "Mommy, I am a princess and I deserve to have ALL my dreams come true!"
Here's where some of you will think I'm crazy: The theologian in me bristles. My brain immediately tries to figure out how to give her an age-appropriate dissertation on our status as sinners, that what we deserve is death, but that we can be grateful for whatever our lot in life because Jesus died on the cross to save us to eternal life. And, what could ever be better than that?
I begin imagining her having all sorts of theologically incorrect thinking, feelings of entitlement, really believing that she deserves everything she wants. Well, before I could start too far down this path, Eliza says, "Mom, I know that I don't deserve everything I want. It was on a Disney Princess Christmas card and it said, "You deserve to have all your dreams come true this Christmas. And my dreams did come true last Christmas. I got those Princess Barbies, just like I wanted." Phew. Crisis averted.
It might seem crazy, I know. I can be way too serious about life sometimes. To try to give my four year old daughter a theological breakdown of Paul's letter to the Romans. But, that was my own train-of-thought this morning. And, maybe it seems harsh, to teach her that she doesn't deserve to have all of her dreams come true.
However, the truth is that ". . . all [including Eliza and I] have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God." And Romans 6:23 says that the wages of sin is death. What I deserve and what she deserves is death, eternal separation from God and all that is Good.
But!! The beauty is that Romans 6:23 doesn't stop with death. No! It continues to say that the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ. Life spent forever with Jesus. But also new life now, life with an eternal purpose, life knowing the God who created her and me. The God who loves her and me. Life full of undeserved grace seen in countless ways.
Please don't misunderstand. I'm not talking about squelching my daughter's dreams. Eric and I want our kids to dream big, because they have a huge God. But, more than anything, Eric and I desire that our children know Jesus. Really know Him, for themselves. To know how much He loves them. We want them to see their own personal need for a Savior. Because they are sinners, whether they realize it or not. Whether they ever chose to acknowledge it or not. And, until they realize and acknowledge their need, they will never reach out to Him. We want them to have an unfathomable depth of thankfulness because they have seen the unfathomable depth of their sin and need and brokenness. We pray that they will see the beauty of what Jesus did for them on the cross. We want to cultivate a heart in each of them that is thankful for everything in this life, because all of it is more than they deserve, which is death. Each and every thing they have is grace upon grace bestowed on them by their Creator. Who, amazingly, is also their Savior.
Which brings me to my view at church today. These four human beings are evidence of God's grace to me. I have tasted and seen that the Lord is Good. For so many reasons. Countless ways that He has given me grace upon grace. Thank you, Jesus.