You know what I’ve come to realize recently? I’m “that mom”! You know… the one that posts photos, videos & updates about her baby on Facebook nonstop. The one that wants everyone to play with her baby so they can see just how precious he is… It feels crazy sometimes.
I know some people might find it excessive… but I can’t help it. Every little thing he does amazes me. And Nick’s the same way! Would you like to know what we do in bed before we go to sleep? We watch videos that we took of Joshua that day. We’ll huddle over our cellphones and gush over his adorable facial expressions, gestures & smiles. We’ll imitate him! We’ll talk about his different cries and we’ll laugh about the ridiculous things he does. Seriously… we do this all the time. Sometimes we’ll even walk over to his crib and just watch him sleep.
It sounds crazy. But that’s really how enamored we are by him. I have never been so joyful in spending time with someone who cannot reciprocate love back, let alone show any gratitude for my sleepless nights & total devotion to him. But I don’t care about that. I always delight in him. Always.
And then I’m instantly reminded… this is how much God loves me. This is how much he delights in me.
The crazy part? He loves me EVEN MORE than I love my own son… infinitely more.
And he more than loves me… he delights in me. He’s joyful when I spend time with him. He grieves when I’m in pain. When I go days without acknowledging him or when I decide to phone my close girlfriends after a bad day, rather than turning to him in prayer, it saddens him.
If I really believed that God loves me more than I love my own son, how much more would I trust his plans for me? How much more would I spend time with him? How much more confidence would I have in who I am and who he’s created me (physically, socially, emotionally)? How does this understanding change the way I love other people? Treat my husband? Parent my son?
It can and should change everything.
It reminds me of a story Jesus tells about a son who runs away from home. He takes all of his father’s money and blows it on “wild living”. After years of being away, he realizes that he has nothing… and decides to return to his father’s house to ask for forgiveness… He practices an apology speech while walking back to see his dad… the story ends like this:
“While the son was still a long way off, his father saw him. He was filled with tender love for his son. He ran to him. He threw his arms around him and kissed him. “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer fit to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet… Let’s have a big dinner and celebrate. This son of mine was dead. And now he is alive again. He was lost. And now he is found.’ So they began to celebrate.”
It’s hard to comprehend that God loves us this much. He desires to be with us. And he loves to pour out his grace on us.
I believe the amount of love we have for our children is as close as we come to understanding God’s boundless love, grace & compassion for us. Now all we need to do is receive it.
My hope is that I can live according to the words Jesus spoke, when he said:
“Just as much as the Father loves me, so do I love you. Now remain in my love” John 15:9