March 12, 2018
“Consider the kind of extravagant love the Father has lavished on us — He calls us children of God! It’s true; we are His beloved children …” 1 John 3:1a (VOICE)
One of the first signs of spring in a small town we once called home was the welcomed appearance of tulips lining our cobblestone streets. But just as those velvet petals declared winter’s quiet passing, so did the arrival of the annual Father-Daughter dance.
A special night designed for fathers and their school-aged daughters, this “community ball” was a staple of spring-time conversation among the young girls in town. As the snow drifts melted, anticipation mounted.
Swelling excitement filled my minivan as I drove a posse of 10-year-old girls to soccer practice one spring evening long ago. The Father-Daughter Dance was just days away, and the girls were discussing everything from dresses and hairdos to favorite songs and dinner plans. Then, as we turned down the bumpy road to the soccer field, their prattle turned to the topic of their “dates” for the evening.
“My dad loves to dance,” declared my daughter Lizzy, with an unmistakable touch of pride.
I swallowed a giggle as I pictured my husband’s living-room dance moves coming to life beneath the shimmer of a disco ball. And I subtly turned down the radio so I could hear the girlish chatter.
“Will he dance with you the whole time?” one of Lizzy’s friends asked.
“Yep,” my girl replied with a happy sigh. “Well, with me and my little sister,” she clarified.
There was a comfortable pause and a sing-song of happy murmurs; then a voice of smug sympathy cut the silence. “Too bad you have to share your dad with your little sister. She’ll probably just want to do baby dances all night …”
As the eldest of three girls, Lizzy was accustomed to sharing her daddy without complaint. But would her friend’s insensitive words plant a bitter seed of discontent?
I gripped the steering wheel and tried to hide my irritation.
“It’s no big deal,” Lizzy said as she flashed her friend a smile. “My dad loves us both a whole lot. And he dances totally different with each of us.”
The road ahead grew hazy through my blur of grateful tears. And I realized that my 10-year-old had just voiced one of the things I love most about our Heavenly Father: God’s love for us is impartial, but His pursuit of us is personal.
First John 3:1 confirms God loves each and every one of His children with equal extravagance. But a quick glance through the pages of Scripture reminds us though God’s love is fanciful, it is rarely formulaic.
The One who ransomed our souls knows exactly what it takes to capture our hearts.
God declared His love for Abram with a message in the stars (Exodus 32:13) but wooed Elijah with a gentle whisper (1 Kings 19:12). He revealed His passion for Peter through a bulging net of fish (Luke 5:6), yet proclaimed His pleasure to Elizabeth through a miraculous pregnancy (Luke 1:24).
In the wise words of a 10-year-old, God “dances totally different” with each of us.
God may woo me with subtle streaks of sunrise at the crack of dawn and enamor you with wisps of moonlight in the dark of night.
He may script me a love song through the whisper of the wind and write you a rap through the whirr of the city.
He knows what thrills our hearts and speaks to our souls. And He invites us to step into His arms and be swept off our feet with His extravagant love.
So, baby moves or big-girl grooves, shimmy or disco or strut, let’s celebrate the ways God makes our hearts dance.
And next time we meet on the dance floor, let’s remember: There’s plenty of room in His arms for all of us!
Dear God, thank You for pursuing me personally and passionately. Open my eyes to see the ways You are wooing my heart and drawing me into deeper intimacy with You today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Jeremiah 31:3, “I have loved you with an everlasting love — out of faithfulness I have drawn you close.” (VOICE)
Hosea 2:14, “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her.” (ESV)
It’s the kind of disappointment we’ve all felt but don’t like talking about — this “must-be-nice” syndrome that leaves us wondering: What does she have that I don’t? We’re tackling the ever-present struggle of comparison in our next free Online Bible Study, Why Her?: 6 Truths We Need to Hear When Measuring Up Leaves Us Falling Behind by Nicki Koziarz. Because there’s too much that’s beautiful about you to lose it all on her. Learn more here.
Visit Alicia Bruxvoort at her blog today for more encouragement and a chance to win a copy of Why Her?, the latest release from Nicki Koziarz.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
How has God pursued you personally? When have you known without a doubt that He loves you immeasurably?
Next time you find yourself comparing your “dance with God” to someone else’s, confess your discontent, and invite God to open your eyes to how He’s wooing you right now.
Join the conversation! Add your thoughts here.
© 2018 by Alicia Bruxvoort. All rights reserved.
Originally published Monday, 12 March 2018.