Our roof has a big valley that seems to catch all the branches and leaves in the neighborhood. Last week, we decided we should clean the valley because there had been quite a few branches that had collected there. Not only had it become an eye sore, but we were worried the branches would create a dam and not allow rain water to run off the roof as it should.
So Dan got the ladder out and started to work to remove the branches. At first, I stayed inside as I tend to jump to anxious thoughts when I watch people on ladders. Eventually, my curiosity got the best of me, and I went out to watch. When I walked outside, I realized Dan was struggling to reach many of the branches. So, I ran inside put on my running shoes and then offered to jump on the roof.
Dan probably asked me seventeen times if I was sure. Just being real, I am a huge princess and don’t really do much that requires getting dirty. I am not really sure why, but this felt different. It felt easy to jump on the roof. Maybe I just didn’t think about it. I quickly crawled up the roof, cleaned out the valley and then turned to get off the roof. The worst part was taking the first step from the roof onto the top of the ladder. I took it super slow and Dan held the ladder and talked me through each step. At one point, he even grabbed my leg to help ensure that I had my foot in the correct place. When my feet touched the ground, Dan immediately told me I did great work, and he was proud of me.
As the night went on, Dan continued to tell me how proud of me he was. We were cleaning up after dinner, and he hugged me and told me he was proud of how brave I was. Again and again, out of seemingly nowhere, Dan would tell me how proud of me he was for getting up on the roof. I don’t often swoon over words, but the amount of times Dan told me he was proud of me that night melted me.
The next morning, I was telling a friend the story of crawling on the roof, and how much Dan’s pride melted me. I remember telling her that I love the way Dan loves me because it makes me feel like I can do just about anything.
After sharing the story with my friend, I didn’t think much of it until the next day. Before going to work, I read Zephaniah 3:17 in the new living translation:
For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.
I love this verse. It’s amazing to think that the Lord delights over me and rejoices over me with songs. But can I be honest, this verse didn’t give me the normal “warm fuzzy” feeling it had in the past. I started to wonder if I had done anything recently that made God proud of me? The question rolled around in my head all day.
That night I read Hebrews 11. This chapter in the bible is often called the “Faith Hall of Fame” because it lists all our favorite biblical heroes and what God did because of their faith. As I read, one verse stood out in a big way like never before. Hebrews 11:16 says this in the passion translation:
But they couldn’t turn back for their hearts were fixed on what was far greater, that is, the heavenly realm! So because of this God is not ashamed in any way to be called their God, for he has prepared a heavenly city for them.
I don’t know if you caught that, but it says that because these hero’s of faith had their hearts fixed on heavenly things, God was not ashamed in any way to be called their God. Maybe it’s just me, but the idea of God being proud to be called my God is an idea that makes me want to do something. I want God to be proud of me!
Here’s the thing, God’s delight in us comes without strings. We don’t have to do anything for Him to sing over us, but I would argue that because He loves us we should want to make Him proud of us.
Think of it this way, Dan loved me before I got on the roof. In fact, his love doesn’t require me to perform any special over the top actions. Dan loves me simply because of who I am. The night I crawled onto the roof, Dan’s love didn’t change, but because of my actions, he was proud to call me his wife. Seeing him that proud, made me want to crawl on the roof again and again.
So, how can we make God proud? I think Hebrews 11 is full of great examples. Big faith makes God proud. Let’s be honest though, big faith is often scary. However, remember Zephaniah 3:17? That verse says that the Lord delights in us, and His love calms our fears.
Just as Dan would have never let me take the scary step off the roof onto the ladder without him, the Lord never leaves us. Just as Dan was talking me through how to step off the roof, the Lord will guide us through the scary steps. And just as Dan was ready to catch me, the Lord is surrounding us, ready to catch us if we misstep. Big faith often feels hard, but the reality is we can do hard and scary things because the Lord delights in us.
So, what are you doing to make God proud of you today?