As I sit here writing, warm beverage in hand, my gaze is drawn outside toward two of the people I love more than anything on this earth, my boys. They’re playing in the backyard—blissfully unaware of anything outside their immediate surroundings, save maybe the sun that blankets the area where they play. It’s an unseasonably warm morning, and they’ve been running. I can see the rivulets of perspiration running down their cheeks. For them, at this moment, all is right with the world.
I was unaware of my capacity for love before I had children. Explaining the depth of this love is something I’ve endeavored to do in the quiet of the evening, immediately before bedtime, right before my boys close their eyes to sleep. I’m not sure I’ve succeeded yet, but I’ll continue to try. In addition to explaining a parent’s love, it’s important to Gina and I that our boys understand God’s love. They need to know that no matter how much Mommy and Daddy love them—which is a lot—it’s at best a shadow of how much God loves them. We do our best to put it into terms that a four and seven-year-old can understand.
As much as I love my boys, my nature (which is most definitely NOT divine) falls undeniably short of being love. Thankfully, Divine love is not merely an attribute of God’s character but an inseparable part of His very nature (1 John 4:8). Therefore, it’s impossible to have an accurate conversation about God and not mention His love.
In his book titled “There’s More to Jesus,” my friend Shawn Brace (a pastor in Bangor, Maine) succinctly articulates this point:
There are days when I feel like I might be able to grasp an inkling of the depths of God’s love for us. I look at my boys and feel a love deeper than words can explain—even though this falls infinitely short of Divine love. On other days, I feel completely overwhelmed by the thought—that my understanding of His love is not only desperately inadequate but that my best explanations and rationalizations are laughably uncompelling at best.
Continuing to grow in our understanding of Divine love means being grateful for Christ’s gift of sanctification. We should long to be made more like Him. The more I learn about His love, the more I recognize the inadequacy of my life and love. Faced with these inadequacies, I see my need and am drawn to want more of Him.
As we spend time with Him through prayer and the reading of His Word, we are made aware that all is not right with the world—but we have every assurance that through Divine love, it will be.