For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned,
but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed
in the name of God’s one and only Son.
John 3:16-18 NIV
FOR GOD SO LOVED . . .
Because our eight children are separated by 19 years from top to bottom, my husband and I straddle two seasons of parenting. We have four school-age children at home, but we also have one grandson, another due in September, and our oldest daughter was due with our first granddaughter two days ago, as I’m writing this post.
I’ve known the depth of mother-love for years, but being a grandparent is heady stuff, too. And as I wait for the call from my daughter–the one announcing labor has begun and we’ll meet our granddaughter soon–I’m torn between feelings of excitement and the dread of seeing my daughter in pain, unable to take it for her.
My mother didn’t stay in the delivery room the entire time with me (she’d just pop in to see how I was doing) until my fourth child’s birth. I wanted her there, but she couldn’t handle it. It was frustrating at the time; now I understand how she felt.
Yesterday we oohed and aahed as an ultrasound tech swiped her magic wand over my daughter’s distended belly and we glimpsed the hidden world of the womb: spinal column curved in the fetal position, rapidly beating heart, tiny fingers spread wide, sweet profile. She’s a princess and a dream come true, and we await the moment when she reveals herself to her already-adoring family.
Although my first granddaughter and I have never met, I would protect her and my daughter with my life. Or any of my kids or grandkids. Parenthood takes our naturally selfish nature and turns it upside down where our children are concerned. You’ve probably seen t-shirts for moms that say Mama Bear; we moms can be cuddly and nurturing, but ferocious in the defense of our cubs, a.k.a. children.
Parents instinctively shield their offspring, which makes God’s offering of His only Son on our behalf all the more extraordinary.
Although I might choose to give my life for someone else—and honestly, I hope to never be put in that position—I would never make the choice to sacrifice one of my children.
But that’s what God did. For you. For me. For a sinful world that despised and rejected His Son (Isaiah 53:3), and yet He loved us anyway. I can’t comprehend the unfathomable sacrifice He made; only a divine love can.
For God so loved the world . . .
We were bought and paid for through the ultimate sacrifice from both Father and Son. How can we live in a way that reflects the debt we owe?