Nothing to Do with What You Do, Everything to Do with Who You Are
by Julie Smith
This year 736 teams were accepted into The England and Wales FA Cup knockout competition, the oldest national football competition in the world. It was a huge achievement for the Welsh lower league team, Newport County, to make it through to the last thirty-two, and an even greater feat when they went on to beat Premier League Club, Leicester City (the top team in the country only two years ago).
As the final whistle blew with the score 2-1 to Newport County, the Welsh Club Manager ran on to the pitch, embracing his players one after the other, patting them on the back and shouting, “Well done! Well done!” Fans were jumping up and down and waving scarves as they chanted, cheered and applauded loudly all around the stadium. The Newport Manger couldn’t have been more proud of his team. He couldn’t have been happier.
Then, in the midst of all the euphoria, his little boy ran out from the stands on to the ground, making a beeline to join his Dad. The moment Michael Flynn caught sight of his boy was captured on TV: his face instantly breaking into the biggest, broadest smile as he bent down and stretched his arms out, drawing him into his embrace and lifting him high on to his shoulders. In the midst of all the excitement, it was obvious his joy was made complete.
What a reflection of the heart of our Father in Heaven. That little boy hadn’t spent the last ninety minutes pushing his body to the limit to win the match, he hadn’t defended relentlessly or scored a winning goal. It was simply the fact that he ran to him and joined him in his triumphant celebration that touched this Dad’s heart the most.
What a picture for us. You don’t have to strive or try hard to prove anything. You don’t have to earn your Father’s acceptance or approval. You don’t have to obey a set of rules or a list of ‘do’s and don’ts’. It’s nothing at all to do with what you do, and everything to do with who you are, because of Jesus. Such joy fills our Father’s heart when a child of His simply runs to Him, calling Him Abba Father and delighting in His glory.
Prayer: Father in Heaven, You are the King of glory. All glory and honour and power belong to You. It’s mind-blowing, knowing that, because of Jesus, You’re my Father, my Abba. Please help me to drink in that truth, to give up all striving and to just know. May my heart overflow with awe and wonder at who You are, overflow with joy and delight in Your glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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