Does God Have Grandkids?
Becoming a grandmother caught me off guard. It shouldn't have—my oldest son and his wife had been married ten years before they had little Maggie. But I was still deeply engrossed in raising my son's youngest siblings, now teens. I'm not through being a parent. My little granddaughter is adorable, of course, and I fell in love with her right from the start, but what exactly was my relationship to her? I'm chagrined to say, it took me a couple of years to understand.
I was walking through a store one day when a rack of tiny, frilly dresses caught my eye. Immediately I thought of Maggie and began thumbing through them. I had already sent her a fluffy stuffed duck for Easter, which reportedly she carried everywhere.
Then, for her second birthday, I sent a colorful towel and some little tablets for her bath that fizzed the water various hues. The colored water became the focal point of her bath. When informed it was bath time she would run for the stairs crying, "I want blue [or yellow, or green]!" I was, I thought, on a roll here. Maybe I had a knack for pleasing granddaughters. As I admired the little dresses, however, I found myself wondering if she really needed a new dress. Her parents provide well for her, after all.
That's when it hit me: I didn't need to keep track of her wardrobe as I do for my own children.
I was her grandma! I could do just the fun stuff.
Being a parent is a heavy responsibility. We provide nurture and protection, guidance and training, food, shelter, and clothing. We oversee our children's education and their physical, mental, and spiritual health. The job is both tremendously challenging and tremendously rewarding. Of course, we also love to give gifts to our kids, whether in the form of a spontaneous ice cream cone, a trip to the zoo, or some special Christmas or birthday gift.
However, such moments seem too few and too brief. They're overshadowed by the need to oversee homework and chores and the struggle to pay the orthodontic bill. Especially as a single mom the past few years, my focus has been on the weighty matters, the needs of my family.
Then along came Maggie and a totally unfamiliar role. Do I have this straight? I can just delight her, enjoy her, and send her back to her parents?
What a sweet deal!
We describe God, correctly, in parental terms. He is our provider, protector, and disciplinarian. He meets our needs. We have a saying,
"God doesn't have any grandchildren," referring to the fact that we can't enter the Kingdom on anyone's coattails. We each have to have our own relationship with Him. But I wonder if there isn't a bit of the grandparent in God.
Just as I learn the role of grandmother, I continue to learn about God's character.
He constantly surprises me. He is multifaceted. Perhaps He is both parent and grandparent. We say, "God supplies our needs, not our wants," but I find in life that is not exactly true. My personal experience indicates that, at times, God indulges in the grandparent role.
"Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart" (Psalm 37:4, NKJV).
Do I have that straight? I wondered the first time I read it. Over the years, however, my view of God has modified from the stern judge, the disciplinarian and teacher, to an awareness of His indulgent side.
"They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, and You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures" (Psalm 36:8, NKJV).
I am firmly convinced, God would love to just delight us and enjoy us. We have only to receive His gifts with the openhearted gratitude of a little child.
"No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly" (Psalm 84:11, NKJV).
What a sweet deal.
By: Margaret Mills