I think sometimes about when our first child was born.
They were days of firsts. First cry; first bath; first dirty diaper; first feeding; first sneeze; first outfit. It was amazingly cute at every moment. Pictures were taken to memorialize everyone of those instances and more.
And then we went home.
Fast forward about 2 weeks, and both my wife and I were walking around in some post-childbirth haze, zombie parents who couldn’t remember whether it was Tuesday or the color purple. And suddenly all those cutsy parts of parenting that captured our attention in the early hours weren’t so cute any more.
Instead, they were replaced with things like irrational diatribes to an infant offering them everything you own if they would only stop crying at 2:30 am.
I suppose that’s how it happens with most parents. No matter how many books you read, how many classes you go to, or how much advice you get – no matter how prepared you think you are, it’s impossible to approach parenting realistically. You are, of course, going to be somewhat naive.
But not God.
There is no divine naitivity there. He knows exactly what He’s getting from before the word go. Long before the word go actually:
“For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself, according to His favor and will, to the praise of His glorious grace that he favored us with in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:4-6).
With full knowledge of the future, full knowledge of every wrong and right, every wise and foolish move, every act of devotion and every act of betrayal, the Lord chose us in Him. He has never had that moment, Christians, where he looked at that little bundle of a spiritual baby in His arms and in His frustration wondered what He was thinking.
Never. Because none of it takes Him by surprise.
So what are we to do with this? We are to do the same thing Paul did in Ephesians 1. We are to marvel at the fact that we were adopted into the family of God, not because of who we are but because of who He is. And because of that, it is indeed not to our own praise or merit or worth but because of His.