Pursue – to go after something in order to catch it.
In pursuit of things, we often become focused – never taking our eyes off what it is we want. We put effort into getting it. We devote time and energy to the pursuit.
We come by the habit of pursuit honestly. We are made in the image of the ultimate pursuer. From the beginning of time, before we were born, God has been in pursuit of our hearts by means of his grace. He has been following us wherever we have meandered – on the wide road or the narrow way. He woos us, pouring out grace after grace on our undeserving hearts. That little miracle of that first full night of sleep with a new baby, or when siblings choose to help each other build a tower instead of throw the blocks at each other, or the phone call from a friend with a listening ear when I am at the end of my rope – graces pouring out on me daily.
Aren’t we, as Jesus-following wives, husbands, parents, friends, called to be the hands and feet of Christ? Aren’t we to share the grace that we have received? Luke 19:10 says “For the Son of Man came to seek and save that which was lost.” Jesus came to pursue us, to capture our hearts. And, according to Matthew 28:19, we now have to turn around and pursue the world in his name.
Now, as a parent, my world, in terms of the pursuit of Christ, starts with my children. I want their hearts to be captured by Christ. I want them to fall in love with our savior. I pray that his pursuit of them is fruitful, that they are his.
As much as the control freak in me wants to, I know that I cannot pursue them for Christ – that is His job, but I can continually point them to Christ by showering them with the overflow of the grace that He pours out on me. I can give that extra hug. I can give them an abundance of smiles instead of frowns. I can read that extra book, or bring that glass of water after bedtime.
What this requires of me is effort – my time, my energy, my focus. But, forgetfulness sneaks in all too often, and I don’t remember the impact grace has had in my life. I don’t focus on sharing it. I forget that I am to turn around and pursue others with the grace that pursues me, to extend to them the bounty of grace that God gives.
My family bears the brunt of this forgetfulness and absence of effort. I lack in giving grace to them daily. My eyes don’t see where grace needs to be offered to my daughter’s hurting heart. My heart is too selfish to give the grace that I know my son needs in the midst of the hustle and bustle of a busy family life. My pride is too strong to let me give grace to my husband.
Worse, many times, I am too caught up in being angry about something – disobedience yet again, the request that gets ignored, another argument over Legos that dissolves in to fisticuffs. I don’t feel like sharing, or showering, grace on these people. I’d rather put them all to bed and read a good book in peace and quiet.
But, it never fails, as I snuggle on the couch, reading that good book, God nudges me. He reminds me of his grace, that lifeline I depended on to make it through the day. He opens my eyes to my own selfishness – how the idol in my heart is most often me. And, He reminds me, gently, that he loves my babies even more than I do and that He wants their hearts too. He tells me that one way he is trying to reach their hearts is through me – when I show them grace, they are looking through a window to Him.
I am unsuccessful, pretty regularly, at being that window. Often, I fear, I do not point to Christ at all. But I know that through His grace pursuing me and making me more like him, I am becoming better at showering that pursuing grace onto my children. And, thankfully, I can rest in that.