At 7:00 a.m., wrapped in my coatigan, I sip my Even-Keel coffee. One sleek cat figure-eights through my legs. The other sprawls on the kitchen table, all silken tuxedo elegance. I don’t have the heart, or after all this time, the resolve to reach for the no-no spray bottle. “Great Are You, Lord,” the Bethel version, plays on my IPad. Because it’s 37 degrees out, the heat kicks on and I think, surely the end is near for my morning glories that have expanded their territory in the back yard—spilling over the landscaping timbers to invade the grass and climb the green bean trellis. Morning glory blue is my favorite.
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According to the apostle Paul, God loves me every bit as much as He loves his son Jesus. Over and over I try to comprehend that truth. @Grace_and_Such
I turn in my Bible to Psalm 139 and read how He knows us—in our mother’s womb, when we sit, when we rise, our thoughts, the number of our days. Somewhere in this book it says my name is graven, etched, on His hand. He knows the number of hairs on my head. The psalmist says I am the apple of His eye. According to the apostle Paul, God loves me every bit as much as He loves his son Jesus. Over and over I try to comprehend that truth.
Once I became a parent, I understood God’s love a little better. A little. I know now that most parents are more than willing to do whatever is necessary, to sacrifice anything, for the well-being of their beloved child.
And then our niece comes to mind. Lovely, petite, sassy and smart, 31-years old with wide-open, liquid brown eyes and hair like a lamb’s—springy and soft. Five years ago she married our nephew and they now have a darling little lamb-haired boy who is almost two.
For at least 18 months now, she has courageously battled leukemia, suffering greatly. I cannot fathom what she is enduring physically and emotionally, what her family is going through. I believe though, that her parents, without hesitation, would switch places with her—would be sick instead of her, would face uncertainty if not death, in order for their daughter to live.
Suddenly I get it. That is exactly what Jesus did for me, for each of us. He saw us in our sickness. He knew our terminal state, that each of us is a flower marching toward winter. He also knew there was another way—a switching of places—whereby He would suffer and He would die, so we don’t have to. I try to grasp understanding, but all I can hold is gratitude.
Our God embraced our death because as the song says, “He’s a good, good father.”