Jumping For Joy

Last week, my now-middle-school-aged daughter had her first JV volleyball game. She’s not played for very long, so the fact that she logged some significant playing time was encouraging – both for her and her parents. I’ve ridden the bench before and know how deflating that can be.

The moment of the game, for me as father, was her first attempt at serving. We’d practiced the weekend before, and her form is good, but she just lacks the consistent ‘umph’ to get it over the net every time.

So I was on the edge of my seat for this first serve. It was so hard sit still.

Up went the ball.

Up went her hand, over her head.

And the ball went…and went…and MADE IT OVER THE NET!

Her first serve made it over. But…then there was the rally. The other team hit. Then her team hit. Then…the ball fell to the ground on the other team. SCORE! Not only did her serve make it over, they scored.

It was just too much. I could not be contained. I jumped out of my seat. Exclaimed ‘yes’. Fist pumping in the air. Jumping and dancing. (I’ve been invited to be the official cheerleading dad by the varsity team sitting behind me.)

My celebration was spontaneous. And it was not about me.

I was celebrating my daughter. Celebrating her perseverance. All the practice and missed serves. The fear she must have felt in from of her teammates and supporters. It was pure joy to watch.

Fatherhood has taught me a lot about being a child of God. But here was a new lesson, a new feeling.

Does God feel this same way about us? Does he dance for joy when we persevere? Does He exclaim ‘yes’ and raise His fist in celebration when we choose to trust and see the results?

As our Creator, it must be pure joy to God, when we follow the path we were created to rather than the one the world conditions us to follow.

As our Father, God must be proud when we serve out of love rather than self-protection.

As our Counselor, it must make God glad when we choose to trust rather than allowing our circumstances to distance us from Him.

As our Redeemer, He must not be able to contain Himself when we center our identity in Christ, choosing that over the false satisfaction offered by the world.

Can’t wait for the second game.

What has parenthood revealed to you about who God is and how He feels about you?

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