Tuesday, September 28, 2010
"For God SO loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life."
All my life, I thought I knew what those words meant. I thought I could understand that kind of love. I thought I knew why Jesus would die for me. I mean, I'm pretty special!
Not so now.
I have a son. His name is Ezra. My only son. My only begotten, beloved son. Would I give him up in a sacrifice for someone? Heck no. Without even blinking an eye, no matter the situation, I would walk--no run--away from that situation. Not for my brother or sister, father, best friend, or even my mother and my husband (sorry guys)! Even for all of them combined!! Would I consider it for the sake of the world? For a mess we'd gotten ourselves into and consequences we deserve? Would I even consider sacrificing myself, sweet, beautiful, innocent, beloved Ezra? Let somebody else do it. Even should he want to make that decision for himself, I would want to take him and hide.
So how in the world did God Himself give up His son, God in the flesh, to die for us? Someone so much more loveworthy than my own son (it hurts just to type that). Some might discount the tough love of the father (ahem, mother). However, I think it is instead His absolutely overwhelming love for us, a people so fallen, so uncreative and crude I don't even understand it. And yet, it happened.
All of a sudden this begins to have more meaning too: "Greater love hath no one than this: that he lay down his life for his friends." John 5:13
And this: "Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die." Romans 5:7
Ezra cannot help but love me. Yes, he already gets mad at me sometimes, and I'm sure we will have our share of tough times when he hits those teenage years. But I have poured (and continue to pour) all of my love into him, and I can see it when his face lights up in those gummy smiles, or when he looks all around the room with his wobbly neck to find me, only me, his mother.
That's the kind of relationship that is described in 1 John 4:19: "We love because He first loved us." My capacity to love has increased so much over the last 3 months, more than I thought possible (like the Grinch). I am being taught to love by the Creator of love. And for the first time I am amazed the way I truly should be at His incomprehensible love for us. And ashamed at my lack of response to it.