Every night in my house we have a routine of nightly stories. We finish the day’s activity on our children’s beds, shoulder to shoulder, reading books or stories out of the children’s bibles. It is a sacred time in our house, which rarely gets skipped. These are the moments each day when we also pray, check in on our children’s daily “highs and lows,” and fill them full of our love as they drift off to sleep.
Not wanting to miss a thing, my two-year-old Harper has begun insisting on story time in recent months. After she is bathed and changed she’ll point to the rocking chair and say in her grunts “ROCK YA” which is a response of me always asking, “want me to rock you and read a story? Now she just says “ROCK YA, ROCK YA” and that is her cue she is ready for a story.
One of the favorites in recent months is the story by Tim Warnes called Jesus Loves Me. As we read this story we actually sing it and look at the pictures of a family of bears. On the last page there is a picture of a little bear snuggled into bed with a big bear on either side of it, tucking the little bear into the covers. Every time we read this story now, without fail, Harper points at that little bear in the middle and says her name. “Harper, Harper” she says and points to the ‘snuggled in’ little bear. And then she’ll point to the bear on one side and say, “Papa” and then the bear on the other side and say “Mama.” To my little girl, this is how she self identifies. She is the bear in the middle of the story, being loved on by those around her, safe and secure and in the middle of a loving story.
And though this kind of response for a child isn’t terribly unique, it seems to me as adults we don’t often see ourselves in such a place. If we are honest, we don’t see ourselves in the middle of the same story- safe and secure and protected by a loving heavenly Father. Where do you self identify? The language we speak of ourselves, the places we put ourselves into the story- determine a lot of the outcome.
Do you see yourself as a child of God? Forgiven? Loved? Literally being “tucked in” at night by the One who knows you, wants to know you more, and who seeks to protect you? Or do you see yourself alone in the woods, off searching for a home?
If you are in Seattle- I’m hoping you’ll join us at Bethany North for a 4pm Christmas Eve service tonight. The point? To be reminded that we are chosen to live joyfully because of the gift of Jesus birth. And that the BIRTH of Jesus is nothing but a precursor to NEW LIFE in Jesus. May you be in the middle of Christ’s story, with His arms around you, safe and secure with your Savior. This is the story Christ is wanting to tell you if you are listening. Simply put, He wants to “Rock Ya”. Are you willing?