Only Child

It’s been a good week to be Rachel.

With her older and younger sisters both happily away at camp, a rare, perhaps unprecedented thing occurred:

The “Middle” Child became the “Only” Child.

She’s had our exclusive attention.  Been treated to lunch, coffee and shopping.  Watched whatever she’s wanted on TV.  Hasn’t had to share.  Not one little bit.

It all ends tomorrow.  (Sorry, Rach.)

But she’s certainly enjoyed it while it’s lasted.

As a mom of three daughters, I try hard not to play favorites.  I love them all equally.  I love them each uniquely.

But I do not love them perfectly.  Despite my best intentions, there are those inevitable times when someone feels slighted or neglected.  Even the highest human love has its limitations.

Not so with God and His children.  For He is the Perfect Father.

His love is Unfailing.  His time is Unlimited.  His attention is Undivided.

God loves each of us as if there were only one of us to love.”
(St. Augustine) 

Since He’s infinite and omnipresent, He can pull this off.  All of the time.

He is GOD.

As His children, we have been given privileged, unrivaled access to His presence.

Yes, we are members of a wide and wonderful family.  We are brothers and sisters who need each other and (try to) love each other.  (Well, most of the time.)

But we also crave and need focused, one-on-one time with our Father.  Isn’t it reassuring to know that He is able and willing to relate to each of us individually?

It’s almost as if we were His only child.  Every single day.  We are never overlooked or forgotten.

Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. (Ephesians 5:1, NIV)

We are all extremely dear to Him.

The word ‘dear’ in the Greek is agapetos. Agapetos means beloved, esteemed, worthy of love—God’s favorite.” (Jill Savage)

God never plays favorites.

Because we are EACH His favorite.

It’s always a good week to be us!

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (1 John 3:1a, NIV)
I love my girls!  And my little guy too.

I love each of my girls! And my little guy too.


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An Issue of Access

Access: Denied.

Those weren’t the actual words on my computer screen, but they might as well have been. For the past week and a half, every time I attempted to go to my blog I got this instead:

“Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage.”

Every other website is functioning just fine. Except mine. Everyone else can access the blog. Except me. (In fact, the only way I was able to post this was by using Chris’ laptop and an alternate wifi connection.)

This sure feels personal.

It’s as if an invisible wall is keeping me out. My blog remains hidden behind some mysterious cyber-curtain. I feel shut out, closed off, excluded.

I wonder if the ancient Israelites ever felt this way about God…

You see, the Jewish temple was constructed with varying degrees of access:

–If you were a Gentile, you could go no further than the Outer Court.

–Jews could proceed into the Inner Court, but if you were a woman, you could not pass into the Men’s Court.

–Only priests could enter the Court of the Priests, and only certain priests had the privilege of serving, maybe once in their lifetime if they were fortunate, in the Holy Place.

–The high priest alone was allowed access behind a thick, double curtain to the Holy of Holies, where God’s presence dwelt. Even his entrance was restricted to once a year, on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

This diagram illustrates the many “walls within the walls” of the temple:

God must have seemed unapproachable, inaccessible. He had to be worshiped at a safe, assigned distance. One could only get so close. To actually enter His presence was out of the question.

Until Jesus came and changed everything one dark Friday afternoon.

“With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom” (Mark 15:38-39)

The writer of the book of Hebrews explains the life-altering significance of this event to his Jewish readers:

“Therefore, brothers and sisters…we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body…” (Hebrews 10:19-20)

Like the Iron Curtain, which separated Eastern and Western Europe, the Temple Curtain, which separated God and man, was removed. The Holy of Holies was now open to all who embraced Jesus, the perfect High Priest. Regardless of where we once stood, we have been granted total, unrestricted, glorious access.

“He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:17-18)

“This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.” (Ephesians 3:11-12)

I’ve gotten used to my blog being a mere mouse-click away, and am eager to have my full access restored. But in the meantime, I’m grateful for the reminder that the freedom and confidence I enjoy in approaching a Holy God isn’t something to be taken for granted. Because it wasn’t always this way.

Thank you, Jesus, for making Him accessible to all—Jew, Gentile, man, woman, child. I have a new appreciation for what a breathtaking honor it is to be invited behind the curtain. You so graciously welcome us, treating us like VIPS with full backstage passes. And one day we’ll be ushered into the actual throne room of God in heaven.

It’s unbelievable, really. And yet it’s true.

Access: Granted.

“Therefore, since we have been justifed through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.” (Romans 5:1-2)


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