It was a cool fall night in Massachusetts. The northern lights danced as my husband and I sprawled out on an old quilt on a dewy hillside and looked up at the deep night sky. We had set the alarm and crawled out of bed to look up at the stars. They hung in the sky the way they had for all the years since the universe was born, brilliant like jewels in the dark of the night.
Suddenly, a star fell out of the sky, like a wish. Then another, and another. We watched as one of the most brilliant meteor showers of our lifetime unfolded before our eyes.
It was breathtaking. The constancy of the stars stood in direct contrast to the spontaneous streaks of the meteors. It seemed as if the very heavens were coming down to play.
How different the experience would have been without the order and dependability of the stars! If the entire universe was nothing more than a spinning mass of erratic suns and planets, the meteors would go unnoticed. Without its constancy, we could not enjoy the spectacular creativity of God and the wonderful diversity of His creation.
Constancy gives us the security we need to enjoy our world.
Even as infants, we cry out for it. We long to know that we when we are in pain, we will be comforted, when we are hungry, we will be fed. We feel most secure when we are surrounded by a certain level of sameness. Order. Predictability. It is as if God instilled in us a need for His very character.
And He is the one who fills that need perfectly. The sculptor of the universe does not change. He is not unpredictable like meteors but is constant like the stars. He is a refuge, a rock, and the only place of strength in this world. Even though the mountains tremble and fall into the sea, He is there. Constant.
What a comfort that is to me when it seems like everything is falling apart. I cannot be certain of health, employment, or even the very ground beneath my feet. But when everything else fails, His love endures. I never wake up and wonder if God is going to love me today.
I want my children to be able to say the same thing of me. I want them to feel like this is the one place in the world where they will always be loved, nurtured, and accepted. This is a place built on a rock, and it will not be blown about by the storms that come. Inside these four walls, my children are secure in the knowledge that some things will always remain the same: faith, hope and love.
They know that when they wake up in the morning, I will be holding fast to the One constant in this world. I will look to God to set the standard for my conduct in our home, and I will look to Him to set the standard by which their needs will be met. When I do this, security and joy fill my home.
From this place of strength, creativity and spontaneity can shine. Order sets the stage for the beautiful and unexpected. If my children are secure in my love for them, they will be free to exhibit their own unique personalities without fear of rejection. As parents, my husband and I will be free to be impulsive or imaginative without fear of degenerating into complete disorder.
But constancy must come first. If we reverse the order and put creativity first, as I am so tempted to do, it doesn’t work. Creativity before constancy is chaos. God ordered the universe before His imagination filled it. His eternal attributes gave birth to the temporal stuff of this world. There is something to be learned from that. Constancy is not the opposite of spontaneity. It is the basis of it.
Constancy is the foundation of our relationship with God, and it must be the foundation of our relationship with our children. God planned it that way. In showing our children constancy, we show them something of God. We build trust and security in them from which they are able to take on the uncertainties of the world. I do not do it perfectly, but I do it better the more I keep my eyes fixed on the One who does not change.
And the more focused I am on the constancy of God, the more my children feel secure in my love, and the more I can enjoy their wonderful diversity.
Please join us tomorrow for Day 8: Freedom
For further thought:
1) Countless times throughout the Bible, God is called our refuge and strength. Psalm 46:1-3 is one of those places. How does it help you to know that God is unchangeable?
2) Sometimes, it helps to do a little self-evaluation. Do you think your children feel secure in your sameness? Have you created a pattern of trust in your home, or is this something you need to address? Ask God to help you be more constant in your relationship with your children.
3) If you are creative like I am, you might feel claustrophobic by the words constancy and order. How does it help to think of constancy as the starting point of creativity?
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