Our young daughter has a silly game she plays with my husband. She yells, “I’m Papa!” while pointing to her chest. My husband responds, “No, I’m Papa!” to which she responds, “I’m Papa!” and so on until she’s laughing too hard to continue. We love cultivating her blossoming sense of humor.
Not-so-funnily enough, my daughter’s silly game is one we dangerously play with God. It’s all too easy to read Psalm 100:3—“It is he who made us, and we are his,”—and think, “Yeah, yeah. I know that already.” Yet daily we point to our chest and yell, “I’m Papa!” In so many ways we express independence from God. In so many ways we have forgotten that love made us.
The King Was First The Creator
The Bible begins with God. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). The creation story reveals an uncreated God who supremely rules. Before the King of the universe sat on his throne (so to speak), he created his dominion—everything. The King was first the Creator. In the truest sense, God alone can say, “No, I’m Papa!”
We know what happened after God created us, though. We rebelled against him, and in effect yelled, “I’m Papa!” All around us we see the effects of this dangerous game we play with God: broken relationships, broken systems, broken hearts.
We see that brokenness in our children who quite incredibly translate our “No,” as, “Go ahead!” and our “Share,” as, “Slap that other child so you can have the toy for yourself!”
Scariest of all, that brokenness “out there” is also the brokenness “in here,” in our own hearts. We fume at postponed plans, broken budgets, and spilled milk—those fading mirages of our so-called control. We seek purpose and worth in a clean house, happy spouse, and respectable children. The shame of our sin, and the sin done to us, often silences our prayers and praise.
How did we get here? Adam and Eve forgot that love made them, and so have we.
The Creator Was First A Community of Love
The apostle John reintroduced us to love when he wrote his account of Jesus. He began his story just like the opening line of the Bible: “In the beginning” (John 1:1). Then John unfolded something incredible about the nature of our Creator.
John writes, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). John then clearly reveals “the Word” as Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Later, Jesus would speak of “The Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father” (John 15:26). Together and as One, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit created everything and existed before creation.
The King was first the Creator. And the Creator was first a community of love—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
God is Love
Imagine that! Love preexisted creation. How? Because “God is love.” (1 John 4:8; emphasis mine).
This drastically differs from non-biblical worldviews. Ancient Near Eastern creation myths typically involved various gods fighting each other for power. In most worldviews, the universe’s origin and nature is one of a power struggle.
But the biblical God existed before creation in an eternal, unified community of love. Jesus prayed to God the Father, saying, “You loved me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:24). “The Word was with God,” not in competition, but in loving community (John 1:1). And “the Word was God,” one in the same (John 1:1).
In the beginning there was no power struggle. In the beginning there was love—one God happily existing as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Love Made Us
The fact that God is Triune (One God forever existing in three distinct Persons) isn’t something we can wrap our minds around. But it is something we should rejoice in. Why? If God created us, and God is love, then love made us!
God delightfully created everything out of his already-existing love and joy. It was as though the joy God had within himself bubbled over to make creation! When God created human beings in his image as the pinnacle of his creation, he carefully crafted them like a master artisan. He breathed life into them, setting humans apart from all other created beings.
But God’s love didn’t stop at creation. Despite our sinful rebellion, God sent his Son Jesus to bring us back to our true Papa. In Christ’s supreme sacrifice we find the deepest expression of God’s love for us. We find an invitation to trust the resurrected Christ and become God’s beloved children.
Whatever our family history, whatever our social status, whatever our particular brand of brokenness, we were each love-made. We are each delightfully crafted with purpose, worth, and dignity given to us by the God who is defined by love. And we are each offered an invitation to be eternally enveloped into the love union of God through faith in Jesus.
Have You Forgotten?
Like me, do you easily forget this? Have you centered your identity, or your child’s identity, on something other than God and his love?
Then drink this down with your warm (or cold) coffee today: dear mama, in Christ, you were love-made by a God who chose, called, and came for you. You are defined as a beloved child of God himself. This is the hope that purifies, not the crossing off of today’s “to-dos.” This is the soul-defining truth that compels and empowers us to sacrificially love others day in and day out.
As we drink that love down today, may our hearts revive and our lips proclaim, “God, you’re Papa!”
Quina Aragon is an author and spoken word artist who resides in Tampa, FL with her husband and three-year-old daughter. Her articles, poems, and spoken word videos have been featured on The Gospel Coalition, Risen Motherhood, Journey Women, and The Witness: BCC. She blogs at her website QuinaAragon.com. Quina’s first children’s book, Love Made: A Story of God’s Overflowing, Creative Heart, is now available wherever books are sold.
Gen. 2:1-3; Ps. 103:19
Gen. 1:1,2; John 1:1-3; Col. 1:16
1 John 4:8
Ps. 104; Prov. 8:22-31
Luke 19:10; 1 Pet. 3:18
John 1:12-13; Eph. 5:1
1 John 3:1; Eph. 5:1
1 John 3:1-3