My son drags his dark blue towel through the living room. It’s not even bath night, so I’m not quite sure what inspired him to stake this claim.
But he pulls it along behind him and then holds it out so I can see his territory.
And then to punctuate the point, he points to the “A” I sewed onto the towel and says, “A. Andrew’s towel.”
Now, sometimes he has this whole “mine” thing mixed up.
He says, “mine” as he snatches books out of his sisters’ hands, and their blankets, and their toys, and their toothbrushes and hairbrushes, and their jackets and hats, and their shoes.
If you listen to him some days, you’d think the whole world was his personal possession.
He’s territorial like that, more than any of my girls ever were. He stakes claims. He demands rights.
And he holds onto what he thinks is his with a He-Man grip and a warrior’s willingness to defend his belongings by any means necessary.
When you’re two years old, you just want what you want, I suppose.
So, I teach him. I take stands against the tiny tyrant within him. I defend his sisters from his raids through their stuff, and when he finds something that is his, I’m quick to agree, and then teach him to share.
Yet, while I’m working to expand his vision of the world, to remind him that others matter and we can’t just trample all over them (or bite them or hit them or pull their hair), and to be gentle, and to be giving and generous….I’m also feeling a different kind of soul-challenge myself.
I wonder if I have that same warrior within to defend what Christ says is mine.
Or do I too often let the world and let others and let Satan and let my own insecurities and fears snatch away what God has given me?
In Ephesians, I read:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3 ESV).
Paul tells us what belongs to us in Christ, because of Jesus, not because we’ve earned it or worked hard to receive it.
Louie Giglio lays it all out in his book, The Comeback:
In Ephesians, the phrase ‘in Christ’ is used 10 times in the first 14 verses. That is,
You’re blessed in Christ. You’re redeemed in Christ. You have forgiveness of sins in Christ. You were chosen in Christ to be holy and blameless. You have every spiritual blessing in Christ. You were included in Christ. You’ve been made aware of the plans of God in Christ. In Christ you’ve been sealed with the Holy Spirit. In Christ you’ve been loved. In Christ is where the hope comes (bold emphasis is mine).
God says all of this belongs to us when we are in Christ.
And yet I can live defeated and depleted.
I harp on my sins and mistakes, I beat myself up with what I did wrong.
That typo. That stupid thing I said. I should have called her and I forgot. I lost my temper. I’m not a good enough wife. I wasn’t gentle with my kids. I was foolish with my time. I haven’t prayed enough. I’m not a good enough Christian. I didn’t exercise today. I haven’t been making my kids practice the piano. I’m not a good enough mom. I missed notes on the piano. What I wrote isn’t as good as what she wrote. A friend is depending on me and I’m sure I’m letting her down. I forgot to send the card that I meant to send and even bought and wrote but just haven’t put in the mailbox. I’m not a good enough friend. I should spend more time in Bible study. I should spend less time on social media. On the other hand, I’m not doing enough on social media as a writer. I should drink more water and less everything else. I wanted to do that project on Pinterest with my kids and I didn’t. I’m just not good enough.
That could be just half an hour in my head.
I should. I need to. I didn’t.
God says in Christ I’m forgiven.
He says in Christ I’m loved.
Ephesians says in Christ, I’m chosen and made holy, blameless.
In Christ, I can live with hope instead of hopelessness.
In Christ, I am redeemed. In Christ, I am blessed.
So I need to start claiming what’s mine and living in what’s mine and defending what’s mine instead of living without.
“This is Mine. Heather’s.”
God says this belongs to me.