We have four children and except for the year my sweet mother-in-law made them costumes to wear to our church’s Hallelujah Party, the kids suffered from my lack in the creative costume department.
This particular year all but one child had a costume ready to go for the party. We piled in the big green van and stopped at a department store to find a costume. In a time crunch, we grabbed the most appropriate one and climbed back in the van. The child got right to work getting dressed.
And then I heard it.
The painful sound of fabric tearing.
What came next was heartbreaking. My child’s small voice from the back of the van, “I just feel like no one loves me.”
Yes, it was true that I was a terrible birthday-party mom who was severely stunted in the holiday department and needed assistance with assisting them in the science-fair madness each year…but my love?
I loved my kids with a fierce love. As they have grown into adulthood, my love has grown too. It has gone from fierce to fiercer to fiercerer.
But at the time of the costume party, my child was greatly saddened by circumstances and felt unloved. I mean in his mind, if I loved him I would not have allowed him to feel despair, right? My sweet boy had not yet learned that his feelings or perception cannot change the fact that my love will never waver.
When I was very young, I knew there was a God who loved me very much. I’d look at the tall birch trees and the beautiful pines and I’d see The Creator. I’d watch the squirrels as they scurried about getting ready for the Minnesota winter that loomed around the corner, and I’d feel the presence of The One who loved me enough to make the amazing world in which I was growing up.
I gave my heart to Jesus as a teenager. Through the valleys of growing in my faith, I admit that I have wondered where God’s love for me had gone. There were seasons in life when I had no doubt that He loved me enough to provide a way to have a forever relationship with Him, but at the same time I wondered where He went when I was hurting.
In the middle of the trials of life, had He gone to sleep? Was He busy taking care of someone else? Had He stopped loving me when…
People I loved got sick?
Money got tight?
Friends betrayed me?
There were times I was disciplined?
But no. Because God’s love never wavers.
Isn’t it great to know that God’s love doesn’t change according to how we feel?
Opportunities present themselves daily to teach our children what it means to live by faith. Our kids hurt when they fail a test, a friend betrays, a pet dies, or someone they love is diagnosed with cancer. God’s promise of loving us isn’t shown by “everything going my way.” On the contrary, his love is demonstrated by his faithful presence and the promise kept that all things work together for good to those who love him (Romans 8:28).
We can help our children grow in their faith by watching for and talking about the ways God uses difficulties in life to bring good.
A favorite passage in Ephesians 3 describes God’s love:
“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
Today might be a day filled with disappointment or the unknown, but it doesn’t change God’s love for you.
God’s love for his children is fiercest!