Jeremiah 31:3, “The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness’”
1 John 4:10, “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins”
Many of us can understand the link between the love and care of our earthly father and the greater love of our Heavenly Father. We recall an earthly father who read to us when words were still exciting mysteries, played marbles with us on the living room carpet while rain tapped against the windows, raked leaves in big piles so we could jump into them. When we needed support or encouragement he was there to give it, he helped us make a snowman from the newly fallen snow, and he joined our baseball or basketball games when he could. Dad took us to church and Sunday school, acquainting us with a God who loved us so much He sent His Son to die for our sins. As children, we absorbed Dad’s spiritual, moral, and ethical lifestyle. Unfortunately, not all of us have been as blessed with father’s as mentioned above.
Some of us had a father, who was too busy for us, or we have no memory of Dad at all, and we ponder what we missed. Some of us link our memory with alcohol, drugs, desertion, or physical abuse and would rather not look back. If he showed no affection, we didn’t learn to love him; if he broke his word, we didn’t learn to trust him; if he lived a wayward life, we didn’t learn to respect him. Nevertheless, whether the snapshots stored in your memory’s album produce thankfulness for your father or require forgiveness for his failure, they call for one more picture.
We must open another album, God’s Eternal Word, to see the love of a wonderful Father Who is all we could ever want and a million times more. Here we see a sinless Father Who loves us with a perfect love and who sent His Son to die for us. We have a Father Who comforts us when we are sad, encourages us when we falter, protects us when we are in danger, and gives us wisdom when we need it. His arms of love encompass us, His angels attend us, His Spirit guides us. He can do anything, knows everything, and loves everlastingly.
I will conclude with this analogy – day after day, the loving father came to the hospital, often with flowers in his hand. He would sit beside the bed of his comatose 6 year-old daughter, talking to her about the wonderful world outside her hospital window. Sometimes he would tell her a story, but in her unconscious state, the only sound she ever made was her labored breathing. One day her nurse, touched by the father’s unrewarded faithfulness, ventured to say, “It must be hard giving so much love when she’s like this.” He quickly responded, “I’m going to keep on coming and bringing flowers and telling her stories even if she’s oblivious to it because I love her whether or not she loves me back.”
What a tender and moving picture of God’s love! Patiently, tirelessly, He is in love with us. We may be unaware of His presence, as though we are spiritually comatose, but we don’t have to be that way. What our loving Lord said to the church of Laodicea He says to each of us: “I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me (Revelation 3:20). Today, as always, God is reaching out to you. Respond now to the love that won’t quit loving. The God of the Bible is merciful and gracious; slow to anger, and abounding in mercy, grace and love. His love has no limit; His grace has no measure, His power has no boundary known unto men; for out of His infinite riches in Jesus; He giveth and giveth and giveth again.
I’ve found a Friend, O such a Friend!
He loved me ere I knew Him;
He drew me with the cords of love;
And thus He bound me to Him. – Small
God’s love cannot be explained – it can only be experienced.