Sunday, May 3, 2015

Overwhelming Love

There is nothing like being a grandmother!  Seriously.  Before my first grandchild was born I was pretty laid back about the whole idea; I actually prided myself in not pushing my son to start a family.  I had friends who were very proud grandparents.  They couldn’t stop talking about those little ones and had what seemed like thousands of photographs.  Outwardly I was happy for my friends who had reached this new status in life, but I must confess, inwardly I wondered how it could be THAT big a deal.

And then it happened.  On March 17, 2010, my first grandson was born, and truthfully, it was like someone flipped a switch inside of me.  I was at home waiting on the C-section to be scheduled because labor wasn’t progressing.  I was not worried or anxious, just eager to keep up with the process from moment to moment.

Since I live in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and my son and his wife are on the west coast…..and since there were other significant family members also eager to hear the latest news….and since David was totally focused on serving and being present with his wife…there was some waiting involved!  My phone was almost glued to my hand and I watched the minute hand continue to make its way around the clock!

Finally my phone rang!  Henry came into the world and my life changed!  I couldn’t wait to share every detail with anyone who would listen and as soon as I had pictures (love the internet with its ability to provide instant photos!), I had them in my little album ready to share with anyone who would humor me!

Since then, we have been blessed with 2 more grandsons (this family can’t seem to produce girls!) and each of them is precious!  Gratefully, at least one of them lives nearby and this one is uniquely special as Jacob was born with Down syndrome.  He is blond and blue-eyed and brightens our world in amazing ways.

A year ago, another blond, blue-eyed grandson entered our world and he is called “Gus” (short for August).  Last month I had the great and wonderful privilege of being with Gus and Henry to help out with some babysitting.  What fun!!! What a joy!!!  Gus is all giggles and drools and loves mashing his food as he eats.  His big brother makes him laugh and they roll around on the floor.  Henry is becoming a young man (age 5) and was so helpful to his Nana in so many ways. (He was out of school because of a very slight fever – which I think was God’s gift to me so I could spend more time with him!) 

There was a point in time where I was standing in the kitchen, holding Gus.  He was snuggling into my shoulder and Henry was nearby just being his wonderful self. I was overwhelmed with a rush of love that defies words.  This huge avalanche of loving feelings almost brought me to tears.  I didn’t even birth these kids…or adopt them.  None-the-less, it was almost more than I could bear.

Almost immediately it occurred to me that our Heavenly Father loves us in that same fierce way.  It is an incomprehensible, sacrificial, emotion inducing, overwhelming, hardly understandable kind of love.  Did God not literally ask His Son, His one and only Son, to die a terrible death on the cross for us?  Most of us are familiar with John 3:16.

Jesus, hanging on the cross, beaten and bloody and mocked said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)  Who loves like that?!  In Jeremiah 31:3 God says to His people: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore have continued my faithfulness to you.”

Over and over again, the Bible paints a picture of how God loves us unconditionally, without abandon, sacrificially, and He so much wants us to choose to love Him back. But here is the thing…God is a gentleman.  He will never force Himself upon us.  He allows us to make choices and respects us enough to let us live with the choices we make.  It is only through “free will” that love is proven to be authentic and genuine.

I am so grateful for that moment in time, that glimpse God gave me of His unbelievable love through the snuggling and hugging of my 1 year old grandson.  I could almost hear God whisper in my ear, “Judy, I love you a thousand times more than what you are experiencing with these little guys.” 

Because of that unbelievable love, one day, along with all who have made Jesus Lord of their lives, I will worship at His feet.  I will be invited to enter the throne room of God and I cannot imagine, in my wildest dreams, what it will be like to sing “hallelujah, holy, holy”!  Imagine, my voice will blend with the heavenly choir!  I will join in with all of God’s saints in praising and loving the God of the universe/Creator of all life.  I hope to see you there!

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