My daily bible reading this month has been in Psalms. It's such a refreshing way to start each morning- to hear the heart of the writer as he cries out to God in pain and heartache and as he rejoices in God's goodness and faithfulness. The one overwhelming thing I get from the Psalms is that God loves us... a lot. A lot, a lot.
I've mentioned before that God usually gets something through to me by repeating it over and over. Apparently I don't always follow direction well the first time. The last time I remember feeling something so strongly from the Word was the months leading up to my parents' house fire. Everything I read in scripture and in devotionals repeated the same message. God was telling me to remember that He is always faithful and always good. I knew deep in my heart that I was going to need to remember that. I even told Tevie that I felt that God was preparing me for something bad. That He wanted me to trust in the fact that He was always good and always faithful. When my parents lost their home, I finally knew what He'd been preparing me for and I hope used what He'd taught me to minister to not only my family but others as well during that time. So, now as I read over and over again that His love is all I need, that He longs for me, that He keeps me protected from my enemies and provides all that I need, I'm listening.
Saturday, Tevie was attending his last grad class of the term and I was home by myself. I'd washed Dane's cloth diapers and sat in the floor of his room to fold them and organize his drawers (PS: How to make sense of all those tiny socks, hats, and outfits?!). I love being in his room. I love how calm it feels and what a special place it's become for Tevie and me. I'd grabbed two books off his bookshelf and sat down in his big comfy chair to read aloud to him. He doesn't know I'm reading a book, but I know he can hear me. :) One of the books I chose was Max Lucado's You are Special. I'll admit, as the story opens it sounds pretty corny, but within a few pages the depth of the message hit me and I was in tears. Little Punchinello is different from all his peers. He doesn't believe in himself and isn't happy with how looks. He goes to visit the woodworker who created him and just minutes after walking into the wood shop feels too inferior to be in the presence of his maker, so he turns to leave.
"Punchinello", a deep voice says.
"You know my name?" he says as he turns to face his creator.
"Of course I know your name. I made you."
Tears were streaming down my face. As I held rubbed my belly and thought of how much I already love this baby boy, I finally realized how much I am loved by my Creator. I don't know what color hair Dane will have, how tall he'll be, if he'll be athletic or smart, funny and charming. Will he like Broadway or prefer ESPN? Will he like to sing like me or have a great sense of rhythm like his daddy? Does he have my nose? Will his feet by wide like mine or skinny like his daddy? I don't know anything about this little boy growing in my belly and I love him to the moon and back. I'll beat up any snotty-nosed kid who bullies him and would even give my life for him.
If I already love him this much- without knowing anything about him-... how much more does my Creator, who knows everything about me, love me?
Wow. That has to be a whole lot. It may not take becoming a parent for most people to realize just how much our God loves them. Maybe it's the junk I carry in my trunk that has inhibited me from comprehending it. It's finally beginning to come together in my brain. The Great God who created everything, who designed solar systems, thought up funny animals like the platypus, inspired Bach to write the Brandenburg Concertos, placed the earth a perfect distance away from the sun, and causes the leaves to change in the fall and flowers to bloom in the spring- the SAME God loved me- loved YOU- enough that He spared no expense in purchasing our freedom and eternal life. His love for me is so overwhelming He KNOWS MY NAME, He protects me from my enemies, hears the cries of my heart and sent his Holy Spirit to live in me so that I may be a light to the world. He loves me so much He inspired someone to create Diet Coke, hot fudge sundaes and Broadway musicals so I could enjoy them. When He created cantaloupe, baby kittens, hydrangeas, and dark roast coffee He smiled knowing they would bring His beloved child much pleasure.
Do you realize how much He loves us? He is jealous for us and he loves like a hurricane- as my current favorite worship song says. I'm totally and completely overwhelmed by this today... and I can't imagine when I hear that first cry and cradle that sweet boy for the first time how my heart will overflow with love for him. It gives me a small glimpse of the joy God felt the day I accepted Jesus as my savior... and a tiny picture of the joy that will fill the room the day we enter into Glory.
Oh, how he loves us...