The daisies are scattered in the fields, their yellow faces laughing in the last days of summer. They dance in the breeze. They shine in the sun. They dare me to play that old, familiar game–“He loves me, He loves me not.”
I remember this game. As a child, I would sit on a rock in the garden, plucking the petals one by one, trying to tease out some future romantic fiction. It is a little girl’s dream. To be lovely. To be loved.
And one day, I did know love. Love from the Father, pure and true. Love for me, the unlovely. Love from the Son framed on crude bars of mercy. Love that held Him there. Love from the Spirit, who works His will in me, keeping me close to His heart.
So why, then, do I sometimes live my life in the way of daisy petals? I struggle to understand this great love. I think that my good performance brings His favor, and that my “mess-ups” bring His frown. He loves me, He loves me not. In my head, I understand justification and “alien righteousness.” In my heart, I wonder if I’m measuring up.
And the truth is, of course, that I don’t measure up. There is only One who does, whose life was perfectly plumbed against the straight edge of the law. And He gives me His faultless standing.
So I find myself repenting . . . daily asking Him to pull me from the teeth of the performance trap and to help me live in the good of His grace. He asks me a pointed question: “Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Galatians 3: 3) And He reminds me that I am chosen, holy and dearly loved (Colossians 3:12).
Soon the long shadows of summer will lean into autumn. The daisies will yield to October’s frost. But I’m thankful for the “now,” when these happy flowers tell me of a glorious and unyielding truth: He loves me!