Don Goulding - Blog

Child of God

See what sort of love the Father has given to us: that we should be called God’s children- and indeed we are! (1 John 3:1)

I loved her. She was the apple of my eye. But she ran, skipped, and sang in her own bubble of contentment. I didn’t exist in her world. Then, right before I awoke, the small girl flashed a dimpled smile, and ran into my arms. That hug clung to me after I rose and went to my prayer room.

“You are that child,” the Holy Spirit said to my heart.

The dream allowed me to taste God’s heartache. He dotes on me, and I barely acknowledge him. All he wants is a return of a few drops of the love that throbs all through his heart. Dour service offered out of guilt is not what he’s after. There’s no need for another stone-faced sap earning his way toward heaven. It’s when I come as a joy filled child, vulnerable and dependent, that God flings his arms wide.

No father, especially the heavenly one, can resist a child spinning wildly, squealing in delight, and locking their eyes on him at every turn—as if to say, “Hi, I still love you.” God never rebuffs enthusiasm and adoration as he does pride and self-sufficiency.

My heavenly Father has an unjustified predisposition to choose me. With reckless love, I am in his heart and on his mind. He protects me and laughs with me. He’s infatuated with my joy.

God only wants a wink, a giggle, or a blown kiss as his child turns. How can I help but take time to make his heart happy? I want to dance to him, and relax with him. Most of all, I want to quit pretending I’m all grown up and just be his child.

Prayer: Abba (Daddy) Father, I love you.

Preparing Seed

For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. Now if I am to go on living in the body, this will mean productive work for me, yet I don’t know which I prefer. (Philippians 1:21, 22)

“Please stop talking about death. I don’t like the thought of you leaving without me.” My wife decreed her moratorium on the subject.

Earlier in the week, I’d performed a memorial service for a deceased saint, which left me consumed with thoughts about paradise. To lock our sights on heaven is healthy, but I was ignoring a bigger reality.

The Bible discloses our life process. Once we accept God’s adoption, we’re marked as seed for inside the gates of the New Jerusalem. From adoption until death, refinements into Christlikeness pack genetic material into our seed. At resurrection, we burst into our full spiritual creation, patterned by the earthly kernel. 

When my seed is called up for planting, these days will seem precious and few. More accurately, I’ll realize my earthly longevity was balanced between mercifully short and opportunely long.

My wife is right I can’t go yet. I’d transform to a feeble sapling. But even that would be okay, because I’d rather be a sprout in God’s courts than a giant sequoia trapped on earth.

Hallelujah, because I’ve been gifted a double blessing. The Lord gives me today to ready my seed, and eternity to celebrate the fruit of what he does in me. I have one undeserved honor stacked atop another.

Prayer: Lord, may every moment of every day be used to honor you into eternity.

Rx of Praise

It is fitting to thank the Lord, and to sing praises to your name, O sovereign One! It is fitting to proclaim your loyal love in the morning, and your faithfulness during the night. (Psalms 92:1, 2)

I was skiing much faster than prudence and my meager ability would advise. My body, skis, and poles exploded into a cloud of white powder. The crash dislocated a shoulder, and my world went upside down with pain. Dani raced me to the hospital. The moment the doctors reset the humerus into its socket, relief swept my being.

I sometimes fly my spiritual life out of control. I leave my Bible unopened, and fail to draw on Jesus. Then an unexpected enticement tumbles me into sinful failure. The bones of my soul are knocked out of joint, and dysfunction taints every part of life.

I’m grateful the remedy is always available. It’s a cure that resets my dislocated spirit into rightness. The Rx is praise. Whenever I administer a dose of praise, my soul is swept with relief.

No life activity is truer than to extol God. The Lord is the definition of goodness, and when we praise him, we push aside all things defiled by imperfection to identify with ultimate good. In heaven and earth alike, created beings synchronize with the deepest reality when they glorify their Maker.

My ego convinces me my time is too important to waste in idle praise. Pride says, “God needs action and results.” Silly Pride, he forgets that Jesus already completed all the work on my behalf. While good deeds that bubble over from gratitude are vital, any time spent trying to earn God’s love would be far better invested by reposing on my bed in joyous praise.

Prayer: It is good to praise the LORD, O Most High, to proclaim your love.