Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Mid-Week Message - God's Great Love

 "See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him."  1 John 3:1 (NLT)

Last week I was reminded of how intimately involved in my life my heavenly Father is.  On Friday, I rose and prepared to meet a friend for coffee.  As I was making the drive into town, a deer crossed my path.  There are two creatures that I always look forward to seeing.  One is deer and the other is cardinals.  When I see them, I thank the Lord because I know that He knows they bless me and I assume they are little "I love yous" from Him.  When I arrived at our meeting place, I had a small mishap.  I walk with a cane and must have come across a slightly damp place on the floor.  The cane slipped and I fell.  I wasn't injured but I was instantly surrounded by people showering me with the love of God.  One lady in particular spoke blessings over me and stayed with me until the incident was over.  As we were leaving, an older gentleman opened the door for us and once again I found myself hearing of the depth of God's love.  As he spoke, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was there at that time because the Lord wished him to be.  I hugged him and thanked him and have been praying for him ever since.  Then, as I drove home, a cardinal crossed in front of my car.  I felt so overwhelmed because I knew that all that I had experienced that morning came directly from His throne room.  

I have learned so much about parenting through my relationship with the Lord.  It thrills me to see my daughter smile and to know that her heart is happy.  So it is in our relationship with our Father above.  I believe that as He was creating the world, He chose to create things that would bring his children pleasure.  There is so much beauty in nature.  Each season brings new reasons to marvel.  From individual snowflakes in the icy cold of winter, to the budding summer fruits, we are reminded of His artisanship.  Can you picture Him smiling as he formed each plant and animal as He thought of the joy they would bring to us?  That thought changes how I view what I see when I look out my window.  Trees, flowers, birds, clouds, lightning and the rest of His creations remind me of His nearness, His gentleness and His power.  

In 1975, a man named Kurt Kaiser took a phrase that he had heard someone say and wrote a beautiful song titled, "Oh, How He Loves You and Me."  I'm sure you have heard it.  If not, I encourage you to look it up and listen.  The words are simple, yet so profound.  It speaks of how much Holy God loves us.  He loves us as individuals, not just as a collective group.  He knows everything about us.  Psalm 139 speaks of how involved He was with us before we were even born.  It says, "You knit me together in my mother's womb."  Think about that.   He had His hand upon us as cell upon cell was formed.  He already knew us by name and loved us before the world even knew we existed.  

As we go through this week, let's spend some time pondering His presence and His desire for us to include Him in each and every moment.  Then, let's keep our eyes and ears open so that we don't miss any of the "I love you's" He sends our way.  Maybe the rose by the walkway just happened to grow there.  Or, maybe He knew it would make you smile when you saw it so He made sure it was where you couldn't miss it.  He loves you far more than enough to do that for you.  Oh, how He loves you and me!  

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