I came across a picture today that I had received of my nephew on his first day of second grade. I was struck by his radiant smile and eyes shining with pride, purity, and eagerness as he faces another school year. He is being raised by his grandparents. Their adult daughter, my nephew’s mom, has chosen a very rocky path filled with drugs, boyfriends, and jail time. I’m sure they would never had predicted that they would be raising a young child during the years when their peers are planning for retirement. However, the selfless love, dedication, joy, and patience that they shower on this child of God is reflected and magnified in his unencumbered smile, beaming in this photo. This boy trusts that he has a Nonna and Pappy who love him to the core, who will be there for him and never leave, and who love him more than they love themselves. He trusts, therefore he exudes joy, despite the circumstances of his mere seven years.
We too have a Father–a Heavenly Father–who we can trust to never leave us and who loves us more than He loves himself. He gave his only son for our redemption, after all. May we exude the same joy in all of our rocky circumstances, cultivated in an unwavering trust in the one we call Abba Father–Daddy.