This weekend I did the unthinkable…I became a pet owner. To be more exact, I became a pet caretaker. You see, my brother-in-law is a huge animal lover and has a turtle and over a dozen fish. When he moved to Tennessee a few months ago, he had to leave his aquatic associates behind and his parents were not too keen on keeping after all of them. Answer to the problem? Our son Allan loves his uncle’s watery friends and so we were asked (ok maybe we offered but I’ll never admit it) to become fish guardians. We trekked out Saturday morning and purchased all the necessary fish equipment and when Allan woke up from nap, behold there were fish!
As much as I don’t care to have something else to take care of around the house, the pure joy on Allan’s face makes it all worth it. He LOVES his fish. He has to say “hi” and “bye” to them every time we leave the house. He’s like a god to these fish. He feeds them, watches them, provides for them. They can’t go anywhere without him being able to see them. They can try to hide behind the fake plant but he sees them even there. No matter where they are or what they’re doing, he loves them and takes delight in seeing them. They are already starting to recognize him and swim over to see him.
In case you’re missing the underlying subtle point in this story, let me be a little clearer. As I watched Allan with his fish, I realized that in some ways it gives a picture of how God must see us. God created the world, setting up our “tank,” so we would have a place to live. He set everything in motion, feeds us, watches us, and provides for us. And there’s nowhere we can hide from Him. But here’s the key point…God loves to see us and delights in us. So often we think that God must hate us or be so angry with us He will want to smite us. God, of course, does not approve of our sin but that doesn’t mean He stops loving us. He wants to build a relationship with us. It’s the reason He sent His Son into the world! But just as Allan can’t force the fish to come over to him, so too God will not force us to come see Him. It’s up to us to return God’s love with a relationship. He loves us and delights in us…are you delighting in a relationship with Him?
In Christ Alone,