Reading Dr Seuss before bed has become our thing. Grandpa is in charge of tickle-tests, 4-wheelers, Oreos and milk.
Climbing up, we snuggle under blankets and sheets one, two, three. Eager at what we know is coming: shoulder to shoulder giggling over zany characters, tongue twisters, elephants in trees. Lights burn way past bedtime, laughter gets loud, stories run long, until Grandpa steps around the door and it’s time to pray, and say, goodnight, for now, sweet friends. Plumb full, tired contentment slips on shoes. By the time I turn back, Paul is drifting off, and Fred fights to keep eyes open.
This is how I imagine God reads us scripture.
Finding us hurrying for our favorite Books. The ones He’s read to us a hundred times. Climbing on His lap, we rest our head on His chest, unashamed of the pleasure of His presence. The voice of God thrilling our ears, and all is right, right here. The Word, winning our quieting spirit. Every time together tightens the family. Pointing out parables, we have many questions, waiting expectantly for the truest answers.
Not all of us share the pleasure of reading to children, but none need miss the privilege of hearing God tell the story of Redemption.
It’s the pillow of hope for our sore understanding, the cover for our shivering heart, rest for our weary soul—and we know it’s coming. It’s why we keep coming, keep opening, keep listening, studying the story again and again because it never grows old, and our growth never ends.
“Nobody ever outgrows scripture; the book widens and deepens with our years.” – Charles Spurgeon
When the boys return home, their dad gets on the phone, “Their love tanks are full!”
And our hearts burst. Exhausted and glad we loved them well, with all we had, till nothing left.
If we, who are imperfect, wish to load our grandchildren up on love, patience, attention, comfort, happiness, hilarity—how much more the One who gave His own Son? Do we think God is not fun? Where do we think laughter comes from?
This I know beyond a shadow of a doubt: the God who built my husband—loves making people laugh. The One who spoke beavers, flamingos, monkeys, dolphins into existence—is the source of happiness and merriment. We tend to overlook how He who breathed the seas and shaped the earth also made birds who whistle, bugs that light at night, and ducks to waddle. Who are we kidding? This is the Lord of laughter. I don’t know how or why we feel the need to only portray Jesus as serious and stoic when creation clearly reveals His tender, playful character.
In a world occupied with negative news—the children of God need now more than ever—time with the Father! The light of His love burning way past dark, the joy of His voice ever louder in our hearts, filling us full like nothing ever could.
What a holy sight, watching our boys nodding off, their bodies stretching out like a bear’s winter nap. In the same way, there’s no sweeter sleep than that which follows the lullaby of the Psalmist: “You have put gladness in my heart, more than in the season that their grain and wine increased. I will both lie down in peace, and sleep, for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” (Ps 4:7-8)
No person, place, or thing holds a candle to reading with our King. His voice keeping close, protecting our soul, making merry, tucking in contented kids.