It is a great gift to receive the air you breathe.
It is a great gift to be born, and to get the opportunity to experience the width and breadth of life.
It is a great gift given from God through our mothers.
God invented the role of parents to mirror his role with us.
God invented parents in the hopes that in them we would get a glimpse of Him.
So if you ever felt like your head was on fire and your mother put a cold wet washcloth on your forehead and stroked your hair and said, “My poor little baby,” know she did that offering you a hint of what God’s care for you is like.
And if you ever felt like you were so hungry that you looked across the pasture at your neighbor’s horse and wondered what it would taste like with dry-rub on it, and your mom was exhausted and you were lazy but she still not only fed you, but made one of your favorites, know she did that offering you a hint of what God’s care for you is like.
And if you every woke up afraid of the mystery of shadow and the creepy creeks of night, and she calmed you saying, “It’s all going to be just fine. There’s nothing to be afraid of,” know she did that offering you a hint of what God’s care for you is like.
Where does this come from?
We read John 15:9. Jesus says, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.”
As much as God loves Jesus, Jesus loves us.
Can you imagine how much God the Father loves His Son?
Think about that. How much does God the Father love His Son?
Yet that is how much Jesus loves us.
If you want to better understand Jesus, spend an hour reflecting on that one verse, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.”
And yet he goes on in verse 12, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
Doesn’t sound too bad does it? Just love one another. Right?
But that’s only the first half. “Love one another as I have loved you.”
And how much does he love us? “As the Father has loved [him’, so has [he] loved [us].”
As much as God loves Jesus, he loves us,
and as much as he loves us, we are to love one another.
This is no simple task. This is no trite saying for a greeting card or wall hanging. This is the challenge of life.
We can love others when they are lovable,
and we can love others when we are feeling loving,
and we can love others on days like today when we’re supposed to be extra loving,
it is much harder to love another as Jesus loves us.
Jesus loves us
when we’re tired,
when we’re crabby,
when others annoy,
when we don’t feel loving or lovable.
And yet even in those moments the command stands tall, “Love one another as I have loved you.”
How does he love us? The Bible is filled with numerous illustrations of how God loves us:
Like a king seeking the best for his subjects,
like a shepherd feeding his flock,
like a judge seeking justice in the land,
like a gardener rejoicing in new fruit,
like a soldier yearning for victory,
like a builder pursuing a strong foundation,
like a father guarding his loved ones,
like a creator giving life to his creation,
like a mother holding onto the hand of her child.
When children are of a toddling age, they hold their mother’s hand.
The tiny hand is engulfed in the larger hand, and there the child finds guidance, care, and courage.
And yet, if a mother has done her job well, there comes a day when the child no longer needs to hold their mother’s hand.
It is a great gift to receive the air you breathe. Thank your mother for her role in bringing you into this world.
But there is an old Irish saying, “The only gift greater than the air you breathe is the hand you hold.”
Thank God for holding your hand through all of life, even when you think you’re too old to need a hand to hold.