Sunday, January 24, 2010

You just have to love me

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
1 John 4:7 (NIV)

I walked from room to room taking in an out-and-out mess!

A child's bedroom provided the setting for what seemed to have been a well-attended pretend tea party. The multicolored pastel comforter hung from the twin-sized bed posts, pillows scattered here and there. An assortment of turned-over pink tea cups, half-eaten biscuits, and lingering stuffed-animal guests provided evidence that the party had certainly been a success.

In the formal living room, miniature dinosaurs dotted the landscape of an imaginary pre-historic world. A clash between a mighty tyrannosaurs rex and a seemingly defenseless triceratops appeared to be suspended in time, midway in battle. Peering from behind table legs and under sofa cushions, a collection of plesiosaurus, stegosaurus, and brachiosaurus watched at a safe distance for the struggle's inevitable outcome.

Crayons, markers, and colored pencils that covered the kitchen table created a rainbow of color. An aspiring young artist's masterpieces decorated the kitchen counter and floor.

Finally as I entered the fourth room, I came upon the four-year-old instigator of the chaos. Surrounded by an array of Littlest Pet Shop paraphernalia, the young mastermind was oblivious to everything but the tiny monkeys, turtles, cats, and dogs she so carefully attended.

Four rooms. That was enough.

Exasperated, I declared, "Child, what am I to do with you!"

Looking up to me from her position on the floor, my daughter's deep brown, saucer-sized eyes heightened the innocence of her response. "I guess you just have to love me," she said.

Now I ask you, friend. What does a mother do with a statement like that?

When a child is born, we don't know how that life will turn out. But God does. As King David acknowledges in Psalm 139, God knows us in a very personal way. In His attributes of knowing all things and "everywhere-presentness," God sees both the accomplishments and the blunders we'll make during our life. Yet for those who trust Him, all our stops and starts will be seen through His eyes of divine love.

Likewise, in his circular letter of 1 John, the apostle explores the relationship between God's love for us and our love for each other. He makes three important points: God is the source of all love, He models what genuine love is, and He commands us to love each other. Like the electricity running through electrical wires, love comes from God to us. It then flows through us to others.

My young daughter's childish insight, expressed through a melodic, matter-of-fact tone, penetrated my heart. She was, indeed, correct. I just have to love her. Placing her petite hand in mine, together we headed in the direction of her bedroom to clean up the messes she made.

Dear friend, all your achievements and mistakes will be seen through God's eyes of divine love. By the power of Jesus Christ, will you extend that same life-giving love to others?

Blessings, dear friend.
Faithfully Following

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