It was a typical morning.
The 2 year old with wild blonde bedhead was in her booster seat, the 8 month old played happily in his high chair, and I was cutting up strawberries and waffles.
On the days I nanny, this is the normal 7 a.m. scene and I love it.
It’s time for food. It’s time for talking. It’s time for theology.
“Lilli,” I asked the 2 year old across the kitchen, “who made pink?”
A smile as big as her pre-cut waffle spread over her entire face. “God made pink!” she squealed. (She loves that question and color.)
“Yes, God made pink!” I answered. “Isn’t that so cool?! God is so nice to make pink!”
“Yes, He is!” she squealed again and excitedly leaned over to the high chair and earnestly (and passionately) explained to her baby brother that God made pink and how He was so nice to do that for us.
“Who made you?” I asked after she finished her sermon.
“God made me!”
“Yes, He did! Who made Jonah?”
“God made Jonah!”
“Who made mommy?”
“God made mommy!”
This continued for a few minutes as she answered that God Himself also made daddy and big sister and milk and purple and bananas and trees and strawberries and sunshine and Biscuit (their French bulldog) and rain.
Then came new territory.
“…And who made God?” I asked.
A frown filled her tiny face as she carefully pondered the unexpected question.
“I don’t kn—,” she started and stopped. After a few seconds, reality seemed to wash over her and she sat up straighter. With excitement that masked a hint of defiance, she proudly stated, “I made God!”
My knife paused mid-air. I looked at her adorable face that held bright blue eyes still puffy from sleep and saw a revealed truth that’s tucked away in each of us.
We all want to be God. Greater still, as Lilli boldly stated, we all want to be over God.
We want to be our own sovereign.
We want to claim ultimate authority.
We want to be the Creator.
We want to rule.
We want to have the final say.
We want God to be in our debt.
Bottom line: We have entitlement issues and we want control.
And that’s a one-two punch that will send us straight to hell.
“No, you didn’t make God,” I smiled at Lilli while recovering from her daring declaration and resumed breakfast preparations. “We’d like to think we did, but we didn’t.”
We went on to discuss how, though God made everything, no one made God and that “God always was, God always is, and God always will be.”
We like our waffles with a touch of syrup and a side of catechisms.
And while these are just words to Lilli, this is heart exposure for me.
It’s frightening, isn’t it, to have been redeemed by rescuing grace and still want to assert authority over the Rescuer?
But the Gospel tells us that’s not how the story ends.
The Gospel tells us the pressure is off because Jesus took the pressure of God’s wrath for us.
The Gospel tells us we don’t have to strain for supremacy because Jesus has been crowned Lord of all.
The Gospel tells us we don’t have to hustle our way to the top because Jesus already sits there.
The Gospel tells us we don’t have to prove ourselves because Jesus proved faithful for us.
The Gospel tells us we don’t have to perform for acceptance because Jesus said “It is finished.”
The Gospel tells us we don’t have to assert our legitimacy because Jesus has shared His bloodline with us.
The Gospel tells us we don’t have to attempt self-sovereignty because Jesus bridges the gap between us and the trustworthy One who knows the end from the beginning (and who executes every moment in between with staggering grace and meticulous attention to detail).
Turns out we don’t have to live for self-promotion because there is already a God and He fulfills His job with flawless precision. He doesn’t need us; we need Him (for everything).
But, in a cosmic plot twist, He wants us. And, though we rebelled against Him and spat in His face, He pursues us with kindness that shatters our walls and humbles us to repentance. He authors the faith to believe Jesus’ atoning sacrifice was enough and leads us to rejoice in the greatness and grandeur of the cross and empty grave.
But He doesn’t stop there.
By sanctifying grace, He reconstructs our upside-down quest for rulership and teaches us to trust Him for what He is: Almighty. Infinite. Capable. Faithful. Holy (Holy, Holy). Just. Righteous. Glorious. Worthy. (Plus an infinity-long list of other stunning attributes. Pun definitely intended.)
Our greed, entitlement, and craving for control melts (and is remelted over and over) beneath the heat of the Gospel. The fire of mercy purifies our flesh and transforms even our rebellion and hunger for superiority into a sacrifice for worship. The sunlight of the All-Satisfying Redeemer softens our souls to the beauty of His creative order and design.
This story is not too good to be true. I know because it’s mine.
And I’ve found it’s best served with a plate of waffles and strawberries.
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. -Ephesians 2:1-10