Last week I had the privilege of watching my last 3rd grade class graduate 8th grade. This class has a very special place in my heart. As the ceremony continued and the speakers spoke of each child, I was reminded just how much I loved them. Memories from five years ago began flooding my mind as I imagined those kids, five year younger, sitting in their desks asking a million questions.
I honestly forgot how much I loved those kids!
For one school year, I poured into them. I taught them the 3rd grade curriculum- reading, grammar, writing, how to multiply, and so on… But it was so much more than that. I helped them with their problems. I helped them communicate issues. I was there to give a hug and smile when I knew they had a bad morning. I stayed up late at night wondering how to reach them. I called them “my kids,” and I loved them just like one of my own.
Then they went to fourth grade, and I chose to stay at home with my kids. Life went on. I am part of a chapter of their lives, just like they are part of a chapter of mine.
But I am so glad I was reminded just how much I love them!
I know this may sound a little silly- but how great is it that our God does not forget how much He loves us! He’s not just there for a season. He’s here for an eternity!
He formed us in our mother’s womb. He knows the number of hairs on your head. He knows the plans He has for you. But because He loves you so much, He will not force them on you. He lets you choose.
The love of our Heavenly Father blows my mind sometimes. I love my kids… But I have a really hard time watching them make a mistake…Like it’s so hard to not correct them… So hard to hold my tongue, and let them just figure it out on their own.
I can only imagine how God must feel as He watches as we wonder.
But oh, the joy He must feel when we make the choice to align our will with His will! Luke 15:10 tells us, “In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
God’s love is beyond words… especially when I compare it to my human understanding of love.
God’s love is unwavering, unconditional, forever and always. The good shepherd. The good Father. Always there- now and forever.
We, too, are called to love. But NOT to love like the rest of the world. The rest of the world sees love a self-fulfilling. The rest of the world chases love like a game. The rest of the world needs relationships to define their purpose.
But what the rest of the world needs is God’s love. You don’t have to chase it; just accept it.
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. (1 John 4: 7-12)
We are on a journey in faith. A journey to grow in love and understanding of our heavenly Father’s love. A journey to share that love with all who have ears. It is quite the journey. But it is full of a never-ending, never-giving up, always and forever love.
I know I do not alway deserve that love. Praise God this is a gift freely given with no strings attached. Love from a Father who simply wants you to love Him back.
Thank you, God, for always loving me! Even when I do not deserve it. Thank you for teaching me the true meaning of the word love. Unconditional. Always. Forever. Help me to share that love with all around me.
“Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.”