I delight in my daughter. I love to be her jungle-gym even when she is jumping on my stomach. I love getting smacked in the head with my brush because she is "helping" me do my hair. I love that she yells "Mommy" every time I walk into the room. I love when we are ridding in the car and she starts singing, "Mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy." It has become my favorite song. I love that I am now sharing EVERYTHING I own. My drink is hers. My jewelry is hers. She thinks my phone is hers. She is already trying to wear my shoes! I love that she is independent and strong-willed. I absolutely love this child.
And yet my love is nothing compared to the love of God. I cannot even wrap my mind around how someone could love me more than I love her.
But then I think about how often I fail her. Lately, when I tell Autumn "no," she will bend over, put her head between her ankles, and start to wail. By about the fifth time in a day that I have seen this tantrum play out, I start to loose my patience. How often do I react in frustration? How often am I selfish with my time? God never responds to me in these sinful ways. Psalm 103:8 says, "The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love." God's love is steadfast. It does not change with emotions, fatigue, or external circumstances. It is constant. When I go to the Lord in prayer with a request, how often do I respond to His answer of "no" by throwing myself on the floor and wailing (metaphorically, of course)? Yet, God never looses His patience with me. How incredible is that?!
One of my favorite hymns is "How Deep the Father's Love" (I frequently sing this song to Autumn when I put her to bed). The lyrics to the first verse are,
How deep the Father's love for us?
How vast beyond all measure?
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure
God gave His Son as a sacrifice to pay the penalty for my sin. I was in awe of this before I became a mother but now this blows my mind! I don't care who you are, I wouldn't let my daughter suffer for you. I don't care what the circumstances are, I would always choose my daughter. But because Jesus is "abounding in steadfast love" for us, He was willing to suffer for us.
Oh, how this encourages me to strive to be like Christ! I want to love her the way that He does. I want to be like Christ because she mimics me. I pray for her salvation. I pray that she will grow to love the Lord. And I pray that somehow she will see His love in me.
The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell
It goes beyond the highest star
And reaches to the lowest hell
The guilty pair, bowed down with care
God gave His Son to win
His erring child He reconciled
And pardoned from his sin.
"The Love of God" - MercyMe