I am 20 years old. I still have a way to go in life, but I am slowly and surely gaining responsibility and freedom.
I can legally drive a car, vote for the politician of my choosing, travel outside of the country on my own, move away to attend college, accumulate student loans, spend the summer doing mission work and could even get married—if I wanted to. In other words, in the eyes of society, I am learning to be an adult and am progressing at a pretty normal rate. However during my time at South Texas Children’s Home Ministries, my eyes have been opened to how much I am still like 2-year old Matthew, who I see every day. In my walk with Christ, I am still a child.
Just like a 2-year-old who is learning to speak, I am learning to use my words appropriately. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. They are all free to post opinions on Facebook, within their own blog or put it on a bumper sticker. As I have gotten older, it’s no surprise I have seen people twist their words and change what they stand for. Each and every moment, I have to pause and remind myself that my words should possess the love and thoughtfulness that imitates the love of Christ. My words are a powerful tool and I am still learning vocabulary—how to define who I am, and how everything that is said affects me or someone else.
God hears my cry
Like a 2-year-old, I have to be comforted on a daily basis. Day and night, God see me pout about how I was treated unfairly. He listens to my complaint of my unchanged circumstances when he is trying to change my heart. He hears my cry in the middle of the night when I awake from a nightmare that seemed oh-so-real. Everywhere I go and in every season of life, God is there to hold my hand and point out truth that I had forgotten. He reminds me that “death no longer has mastery over him” and because I am Christ’s, death no longer has mastery over me (Romans 6:9).
Like a small child running away from a parent whose tone signals discipline, I run away from God, again and again. In small moments throughout the day, or in an area of sin in my life that I try to close off from God, I consistently fall short of who I am called to be. Whether it is out of fear or because I intentionally try to flee from God’s presence, every time that I turn back, the Lord is there waiting with open arms.
Each and every time Matthew sees me, his face lights up. He reaches his arms up, and he meets me with the most incredible hug. I am reminded that the joy that I feel when Matthew hugs me is just a glimpse at what my Heavenly Father experiences when I turn back and come running to him (Romans 8:15-16).
His love never runs out
I am a daughter of the King, and he rejoices when I return to him each day. There is an unconditional love waiting for me to come home to, each and every day. This love never runs out, never tires of my consistent mess-ups, and never lets me forget that I belong to the living God.
Katie Burkhead, a student at the University of Texas at Austin, is serving with Go Now Missions as a summer mentor at South Texas Children’s Home Ministries.