God IS love. [1 John 4:16] We know that from scriptures, and that means... the uncontrolable, fierce love I have for my children, the faithful "butterflies in the stomach" love I have for Huntlee, the likely borderline idolatry love I have for beef fajitas in homemade flour tortillas or Pioneer Woman's cinnamon rolls.... all are from Him. We love because He first love us [1 John 4:19] I suspect the love for fajitas and cinnamon rolls may not be what they had in mind there.. but lets go with it. Those things make me smile and are from Him.. and He is good. BUT.. thats not really what has overwhelmed me lately... [Although I could REALLY go for a cup of coffee washed down with one of those cinnamon rolls, which I think would overwhelm me too]
When God talks about His love for us, He uses the reference of children. 1 John 3:1] If you have children, you know the uncontrollable, fierce, all consuming, instantaneous, forever love this references....[If you don't, this is where that painful reference may come in....] But at first instance of Avery or Grant, I felt immediate and consuming love for them. I didnt know their personalities, their likes, our compatiability... I just knew love for them. Not the "I think you are cute and after getting to know you, I will love you" kind of love [As with our spouses], but something different. And not the "wipe the drool from my face or desire for sugar high but quickly turns to disgust and need for salt" love I feel for cinnamon rolls either. But a love that causes immediate protection (I almost punched a NICU nurse when she put the feeding tube up G's nose in front of me), constant pursuit of what is best for them, and inability to stay angry or hold bitterness toward them... (I do recognize I have toddlers not teenagers..)
But.. even in that love for my children, I am flawed and full of sin and my love for them isnt perfect. I am quick to anger, and I am selfish with my time.... But God isnt. That means.. His love for us (yes even ME!) is fierce, uncontrollable, pursuing of whats best, not filled with bitterness, and PERFECTED love for me. HE LOVES ME as a one of His Children! No, this isnt the first time I have heard this.. but I am stopping to let it SINK in.. to rest on my soul...and to comfort me. I keep going back to dwell on that very fact, and as I do.. the more overwhelming it becomes. And the more comforting.
He not only loves me like this, but my husband and children. It means, as much as I love my family, He loves them more and the kicker... He knows what's best of them! Much better than my limited, "wooed by cinnamon rolls" mind can know. He knows their future and has a perfect love for them. So my worries seem SOOOO silly. I have a duty to teach and protect my children, but must recognize He is the ultimate protector of them. He knows them better than me... He created them after all.Spouse
It didnt stop with the kids (so sorry this blog is a novel), but God has also shown me the love Christ has for the church (Ephesians 5:26). The church is made up and run by flawed and sinful people [We ALL are], yet Christ loves the church with a perfect love. It is a love that forgives despite the flaws and pursues despite annoyance.
I wish I could boast about myself here... but I can't. God has shown me what an example of Christ loving the Church.. Huntlee shows by loving me. Huntlee and I have been together for a long time and he is well aware of my past [Heck, married 10 years, known each other almost 20 yrs..and I am 34, he IS my past]. He knows the good, the bad, and the UGLY and yet chooses to love and pursue me as his wife.
I live with someone who knows my wretched past in detail, and yet with grace loves me regardless. He knows my past, yet chose to marry me. If that doesnt paint the most beatuiful picture of the Cross of Christ, I dont know what does.
So, there we are.. all full of warm and fuzzy love fest. I would encourage you to dwell on the fact God LOVES you - completely and totally LOVES you. It is amazing, overwhelming, and leaves a smile on your face - much more than a silly cinnamon roll ever will.