The neighbor's yard was irresistible. Not only was the house empty, but the unmowed lawn was covered with a bed of dandelions. What is more tempting to a little girl than to sit in one spot amongst the beautiful sunny flowers and pick everyone within her reach? And what does one do with beautiful flowers freshly picked? Every girl knows her mommy's love for a bouquet! Tripping into the house, our girl proudly presents the gift to her mother. The wilted dandelions droop sadly from the edge of a small crystal vase as Mommy wipes sticky dandelion juice off the counter. What does the mother think of such a lowly gift? She loves it. Though she would prefer roses to wilted dandelions, the gift was from her precious child. Her baby had handed her the flowers with a smile on her face, trusting that her mother would be happy with them though they were a poor present compared to what her mother had sacrificed for her.
(Please forgive the very long and hard to understand quote, but please read and try to understand...it's worth it! Pay special attention to the second paragraph.)
"We cannot, by our best works, merit pardon for sin...by reason of the great disproportion that is between them and the glory to come; and the infinite distance that is between us and God. ...by them [i.e., our best works], we can neither profit, nor satisfy for the debt of our former sins; but when we have done all we can, we have done but our duty, and are unprofitable servants; and because, as they are good, they proceed from His Spirit; and as they are wrought by us, they are defiled, and mixed with so much weakness and imperfection, that they cannot endure the severity of God's judgement.
"...believers being accepted through Christ, their good works also are accepted in Him; not as though they were in this life wholly unblameable and unreprovable in God's sight; but that He, looking upon them in His Son, is pleased to accept and reward that which is sincere, although accompanied with many weaknesses and imperfections."
~Westminster Confession of Faith
What I do in this life merits me nothing before God. Because I am His child through Christ, His love for me will always be the same; just as the mother's love for her little girl is untainted by the poorness of the gift. Yet simply knowing that Christ loves me no matter what, gives me a desire to do what He asks of me. As I work by His grace alone to do the right thing, imperfect though it will be through my humanness, I can present it to Him in faith, knowing that He will accept it out of love for me: His own little girl.