The Lord your God is in your midst; he is a warrior who can deliver. He takes great delight in you; he renews you by his love; he shouts for joy over you.” Zephaniah 3:17 (NET)
Can You Come Play?
During a recent trip to Walmart, I had a delightful surprise. I was in ”get-er-done” mode, wheeling my buggy toward the area I hoped I’d find camping chairs, when my Fitbit informed me I had a call. Looking down and seeing it was my daughter, I tapped my blue tooth and answered it. But it wasn’t my daughter, it was my four year old grandson. “Can you come play?” he asked.
If you’ve reached the stage in life where you’ve been blessed with grandchildren, you understand how his question made me feel. My heart absolutely over flowed with love for him.
There’s a different dimension of love I’ve experienced with our five grandkids. We don’t love them more than our children, just differently. Without the responsibility of direct parenting, I feel freer to love. In fact, in a very real sense grandkids help me experience the moments of life more fully and God’s love more deeply.
The next day in church, there was a phrase in one of the songs about running to God’s love. It’s a great concept, but understanding God’s continual open arms to us can be extremely hard to grasp. Speaking of Christ’s love, Paul prays we might comprehend its vastness and know this love which surpasses knowledge. With our limited minds, this picture of unending, unchangeable love can only be believed by faith, especially in light of our human failings.
When I think of how I’ve disappointed God, seeds of doubt creep in. Are his arms still open? Does he still desire our embrace?
What love I experienced when my grandson called me! If I wasn’t an hour and fifteen minutes away, I’d have driven straight there. And even with the distance, surprising him crossed my mind. Being “Pop” to my grandchildren has expanded my heart to measures I didn’t expect, but my love for them is a mere shadow compared to God’s love for me.
Expanding My Concept of love
When we think of our children or grandchildren, and really ponder our love for them, we can understand a deeper dimension of God’s love. Those closest to us can cause the deepest pain, but no matter what a child or grandchild does, would I ever refuse their desire to run into my arms?
Close your eyes and picture God holding out his arms to you for a running embrace. Is there a hesitation? If so, what are you afraid of? Whatever it is, it’s a lie.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 (NASB)
Lord, thank you for giving me a picture of your love for me, when I think of my grandchildren. Allowing me to be a grandfather helps me understand your love for me even more.
But sometimes there’s a “disconnect” in my heart. Your love is true. Like the Father in the story of the prodigal son, you have open arms for all your children. Whether we’ve been in the distant lands of false affections or striving to earn your love at home, your love never fails.
Your arms are always open and you delight in us running to you. In fact, when you see us running to you, because we are in Christ, you see your Son.