Teaching children about God’s never stopping, never giving up, unbreaking, always and Forever Love is something that my dear friend Sally Lloyd-Jones has done well. You can’t help but fall in love with this woman of deep theological truths and endearing warmth. She has a way of preaching the gospel to children (and adults too) that I’ve never experienced before. And our kids have literally been raised up on The Jesus Storybook Bible (over a million copies sold!) and now Sally is giving little ones their very own introduction to the Lord’s Prayer in her new board book Loved. It’s a humbling grace to welcome Sally to the farm’s front porch today…
I’ve just returned from our annual family vacation in Cornwall.
Cornwall is the landscape of my childhood. We’ve been coming here since I was 6. (And now my nieces and nephews have been coming here since they were tiny, too.)
In the very early morning, my little sister and I would set off with our nets in search of ponds, and tadpoles, and adventures.
I love Cornwall. It’s wild. It’s romantic. And stunningly beautiful.
The beauty has to do with the glorious landscape, of course—the dunes, the cliffs, the rugged coastline. And it has a lot to do with the golden light, too. It is always changing. Every day it makes the landscape new. New every morning.
Like His kindness to us.
And that’s the other thing I love about the landscape of Cornwall. It is filled with symbols like that, pointing you to truth—everywhere you go, reminders of God’s care.
The great, granite rocks reminding you of the Rock that is higher than you, stronger than you, where you can go to shelter from the storm. (And, this being Cornwall, of course, we get plenty of those.)
The sheep grazing in the fields, reminding you of your Shepherd who loves you.
The signposts on the footpath, reminding you of your Guide who leads you in the way you should go.
The tiny swifts on the wing, reminding you of the one who feeds and cares for all that He has made—even the smallest.
The wildness of the landscape, the wind, the ocean, the power—all of them reminding you of the depth of His love, and the greatness of His Power.The beauty all around you—evidence of His creation and His care.
It’s like walking in a landscape of love. A landscape made by the one who asks us to call Him Father, Abba, Papa.
Think about that for a moment.
The Mighty One, the Creator of the Universe, the great King of Heaven asks us to call Him … Daddy.
My pastor, Tim Keller, often reminds us: who has the right to wake up the King in the middle of the night for a glass of water?
Only one person.
We have that kind of access to the King of Heaven.
The Lord’s Prayer is all about the access we have to the King of Heaven.
Every day, He feeds us, guides us, leads us, protects us. He provides all that we need.Every day He gives us a new start. And every day He says we can come to Him as a child to her father. Any time.
Even in the middle of the night. And He will hear us.
We can bring everything to Him. Nothing is too small. He loves us like that.
Oh, there’s one other thing I didn’t tell you about Cornwall. It is actually the setting of Loved. (The landscape is close to Jago’s heart too, you see, because he lives there. Exactly where we have been going all these years. How great is that?)
If you look, you can spot the landmarks of North Cornwall: Pentire Point, Gull Rock, Stepper point. The Camel Estuary. The beaches of Rock and Polzeath.
In the book, we follow a group of little children as they go exploring together. Setting out in the morning (much like my sister and I, with our nets in search of adventures), and heading home at dusk. Talking to their Heavenly Father. Walking in a landscape of love.
One of my heroes, Corrie Ten Boom, said faith is simply this: “The Fantasic Adventure In Trusting Him.”
I love that. Don’t you always want to live like that?
Every day, setting out on the fantastic adventure in trusting Him, walking in a landscape of love.
This woman? She writes words that makes my heart split the happiest relief. Sally Lloyd Jones is a British children’s book writer who was born in East Africa, raised in England at a boarding school, studied at the Sorbonne and moved to the states in 1989 “just for a year”. She’s still here.
She is New York Times bestselling award winning writer—and sometime performer of her work—who has written over 25 children’s book, including: the critically acclaimed, How To Be A Baby, By Me, the Big Sister and The Jesus Storybook Bible,which has sold over 2.5 million copies and has been translated into 35 different languages; Thoughts To Make Your Heart Sing winner of the ECPA Devotional Book of the Year; and Baby Wren, a 2017 Christopher Award winner. Her now newest and highly anticipated book LOVED, illustrated by Jago, based on the Lord’s Prayer. Little ones will fall in love with this padded board book that shows even the youngest readers how to talk to God.
[ Our humble thanks to Zondervan for their partnership in today’s devotion ]