As I watched my son graduate from college recently, I was beaming with pride. A quick google search provides this definition for the word “proud”: feeling deep pleasure or satisfaction as a result of one’s own achievements, qualities, or possessions or those of someone with whom one is closely associated. That about sums it up. I know the hard work he put into his education. I know how he put great effort into learning things he wanted to learn, along with things that he did not necessarily care much about. I know how he was met with great professors who walked along beside him and encouraged him over the course of his college years. I also know there were likely professors that were not so easy to get along with. He persisted and prevailed through it all, good and bad.
Although I am thrilled to see him accomplish such a task, I am even more pleased with the young man I know that he is. It’s not all about what he does or doesn’t do. Whether he succeeds or fails at any given task, I have seen first-hand what is inside of him. He is loving, caring, passionate, driven, and discerning. Those qualities are always there (and others as well), despite what circumstances come his way. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching him grow, and I look forward to seeing the impact he will have in the world as he moves forward from this point in his life.
While the emotions of this milestone continue to swirl around within me, I am reminded of something. THIS is how God views us, his beloved children. He is so proud of us. He is pleased when he gazes upon us. He loves watching us be who He created us to be. Yeah, He likes to see us achieve goals and cross finish lines, but whether we do or don’t, he loves us the same. He knows what is inside of us because He created us. We are free from any condemnation (Romans 8:1,2). We are beautiful, forgiven, and complete in His eyes (Colossians 1:14 and 2:10). We are never separated from His unconditional love for us (Romans 8:35-39). He has chosen each of us to bear fruit that He has prepared for us to bear long, long ago…even before we were born (John 15:16).
For those of us who are parents (either biologically or those who have chosen to be one in the life of a child who doesn’t necessarily share the same genes), as we look at them with loving eyes may we remember that we have a Heavenly Parent who looks at us in a very similar way.
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