“Mommy, I love you more than the history of the whole universe.”
This is what my six year old daughter told me as I gave her a bedtime snuggle recently.
Obviously, I can’t really quantify her love from these words but I know it is the deepest biggest love she can express. I have replayed her words in my head many times since that night and they never fail to warm my heart and give me joy.
The picture of Delaney above is actually from about three years ago but it is a photo that is forever in my mind. It so perfectly captures the essence of my beautiful, whimsical little dreamer. Her capacity to love is so deep and tangible. She has a tone to her voice when she tells you that she loves you that makes you believe her. The way she wraps you up in her hugs leaves an imprint of her love lingering even after she’s run off to play or to fall asleep for the night.
Her loving nature is a foundation of her character. It helps define who she is.
When I think about Delaney and her love, I can’t help but think about God and His love for us. Imagine how He might describe it. It truly is more than the history of the whole universe. He created us out of love and has forever proven the magnitude of His love by giving His son to take our sin to the cross and allow us to exchange life for death. There could never be a greater love than this.
But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8
Unlike Christ’s love, Delaney’s human loving character breaks down sometimes. She gets angry with her siblings and leaves her father and I wondering who stole our daughter and replaced her with this new little selfish girl.
This is never true of God. His love does not break down. He’s not just mostly loving. His character is love. Pure, perfect, unchanging love. He cannot be otherwise. Love is not just part of what defines his character. It is the essence of his character.
If we can look at our circumstances within a framework of God’s perfect proven love, we can be sure that things will turn out for good. We may not always understand the good He brings, but we will never get less than His best. This is contrary to His nature. It is impossible for Him to give us less.
I have been reading Henry Blackerby’s book “Experiencing God” and he speaks eloquently to this. He says he views all of his circumstances on the backdrop of the cross where God so clearly demonstrated once and for all time His deep love for us. He speaks to experiencing God, and that the more we do, the more we can know who He is.
As with most things, however, I find it easier said than done. We may understand something on an intellectual level or even believe it to be true, but if you’re anything like me, putting it into practice can be so much harder.
Obtaining this deep rooted trust in God’s character is a journey. As we learn to hear God and know Him more through time and experience; through His word and prayer and His Spirit, we can more fully realize that He will never give us anything but His best. He is forever pursuing a love relationship with us and the great news is, there are no second best love offerings from God. Even when our love fails, God’s never will.
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. – John 3:16-17