Our bounding bus finally made its way to the end of the dirt road and pulled into the Haitian village. Tucked away in the dense foliage and nestled at the foot of Mount Desire, this small village is home to around 40 orphaned children. Upon our arrival the kids immediately encased the bus, excitedly anticipating the moment when we would scoop them up and fall into the patterns of play. I waited for most of the people to unload first. Looking around at the swarm of children I locked eyes with a little girl wearing clothes too small for her already undersized body. Instantly, I wanted to hold her and play with her. I smiled and she returned it with an even bigger pearly white grin. With a smile covering her face she made her way around to the side of the bus where everyone was unloading. I finally made the step onto the Haitian dirt and began looking around for her. To my disappointment, some else had already fallen under her charms and was playing with her.
Content she had someone to play with her, I made my way to other children and began making new friends. Even still, I kept thinking about that little girl with the big grin and even bigger personality. I hoped for the chance to get to hold her and play with her. I desired that moment of connection with this little beauty.
All the playing eventually exhausted her and I found her sound asleep in the arms of one of the trip goers. However, amidst her cozy sleep, this tiny charmer had gotten a little too comfortable and gone to the bathroom in her pants and also on the lady holding her. I lifted her from the arms of the woman so she could go change clothes. Walking around looking for a village Mama to help me find her another pair of shorts, I relished in the moment of finally getting to hold her. She nestled herself against me and fell back asleep as I continued my search for new shorts.
Eventually she woke up and realized who was now holding her. We locked eyes and again shared a smile that gave life to both of our souls. We played, tickled, laughed, sang, and enjoyed every second of getting to hug and hold the other’s hand. At the end of the day our team said our goodbyes and made our way further up the mountain toward the hotel we would be staying in.
Later the next day I began to think back on that little girl again and God began to speak. God reminded me of His love for us. In the same way that I desired to hold that little girl and be with her, God desires the same of us. God sees us and is immediately enamored with us. We are His creation and we captivate His heart. He longs to hold His children and relish in our presence.
Did you know that?
Did you know that God delights in our presence?
Yes, in the same way you parents out there delight in the presence of your children, so too does God delights in us!
Even though we were created by God and for God, sometimes we get distracted.
When that little girl locked eyes with me and smiled, it seemed as though she was making her way around the bus to come to me. But amidst the busyness and chaos of our group unloading the bus she became distracted and missed me. Regardless, I was determined to get my moment with her.
Despite our misguided affections, despite our distracted and chaotic lives, despite our busyness that we cloak with the word “productivity” – despite ALL of it, God is determined to get to His children. He has mastered the art of the perfect pursuit. He tailors His tactics to each of His unique children and waits for us to notice.
But the greatest beauty of it all…God meets us right where we are. Isn’t it odd that I would find joy in holding a girl with urine soaked shorts? That’s messy. Yet God, in His perfect Holiness, meets us right in the middle of our mess and delights in that moment of finally having His children.
All day my thoughts were on that child and my heart swelled with joy when I eventually got to hold her, yes, urine-soaked shorts and all. The greatest joy came when she woke up and realized who was holding her. At her awakening she at once joined me in joy and began playing with me.
This is the same for God and His children. He desires us more than anything else and, when we finally allow Him to lift us from our messiness, He joys in that moment of being united with His children. But more than that, He longs for us to wake up and realize who is holding us. He craves for His children to open our eyes and, in our joy, rest in His presence and delight in His love.
Beloved, God desires you and He delights in being with you.
Will you cease all your distracted activities?
Will you stop allowing chaos to direct your attention and allow Christ to direct your affection?
Will you savor how perfectly He pursues you?
And will you allow Him to awaken you to the joy that awaits you, that’s found in His presence?
My prayer for you as you are reading this is you will sense the Presence of the Almighty. I pray you will stop running around in your chaos and your busyness and allow God to enter into your mess, wrap His arms around you, and you would rest in that moment with Him. I pray your understanding of God’s desire for you would grow, as your desire for Him grows, too. I pray you would be awakened, dear friend, and open your eyes to the goodness, faithfulness, and gracefulness of your Father. Amen.
“May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s endurance.”
– 2 Thessalonians 3:5
Click on the proceeding link and soak up the words to “Where I Belong” by Cory Asbury.