Friday, February 3, 2012

Unconditional Love

Even though I had to give him a stern “No” a few minutes ago for throwing his cup, Benjamin crawls towards me, smiling and laughing, eager to crawl up into my lap. He is fully confident and fully expectant that he will be received with hugs and kisses. His mind is not on the recent discipline but on the love he knows his mommy has for him. He comes to me at any time of the day, no matter what is happening or who is around, wanting and expecting my attention and affection. . . and he gets it. Benjamin doesn’t analyze his behavior over the day to determine whether I will receive him or whether I will hold him at arm’s length. He doesn’t try to find ways to “earn” back my favor after being disciplined. He approaches me with laughter and with joy, or with tears and the desire for comfort; either way he is confident he will be received with love and acceptance. 

This morning Father God ministered to my heart through the simplicity of my sweet son. As I love my son, I get a small glimpse into the heart of a loving God. As I write this, I am listening to the live webstream from the International House of Prayer in Kansas City. The worship team has just broken into spontaneous song. A young woman sings "What a Father You are! You never reject us or turn us away. Though our fathers and mothers reject us, You never turn us away." I'm listening, Daddy! You are speaking! I cannot conceive of ever rejecting my son. Yet, my love is still an imperfect love. There are wounded fathers and mothers in this world who do reject their children, whether intentionally or unintentionally. In my imperfection, Benjamin will probably experience feelings of rejection from me at some point in time, though that is never my desire. But not so with Father God. His love is perfect, unconditional, and constant. Love originates in Him and finds its ultimate fulfillment in Him. It does not stand to reason that my love and delight for my son could be greater than the Father's love and delight for me. It does not stand to reason that He would give me affection for "good" behavior and withhold it for "bad" behavior. His heart is always for me; His affection is always extended to me. Like Benjamin, though, I have a part to play. I must be willing to come to Him with simple trust and love, confident that I will be received. I will be loved.  

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