How Great is the love of the Father

Father and son

 

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are” I John 3:1

Meditating on the Father’s great love for us, this picture comes to mind. A.J. missed his Daddy so much while he was away for a week serving in Mexico, that he ran quickly into his arms as soon as he saw his Dad return.  “Daddy! Daddy!” I was able to click my cell phone camera in time, because the strong embrace lasted so long. How great is the love of this father and son.

I have been a little wound-up lately.  My heart is racing as though I have consumed a tank of caffeine. It has been a difficult “Special Needs Month” as we deal with battles and situations beyond our control. The aching in my heart pulls me to crawl under the covers and sink into my sadness. But the Lord keeps giving me this picture of my child running into the arms of his father.

Is that the kind of love You have for me, Lord? Is that the kind of love You have for my child?

I choose not to hide under my covers in despair. Instead, the love of the Father draws me to His embrace with these comforting words from Psalm 121:

“I look up to the mountains—
does my help come from there?
 My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth!

He will not let you stumble;
the one who watches over you will not slumber” NLT

It isn’t easy being vulnerable, but I have finally learned to allow the body of Christ to bear with me in my burdens. I am entrusting my special requests to trustworthy friends who pray on our behalf.

This is when I cry, when I let the walls of self-preservation drop and allow others to come along side us. Augh, this isn’t fun.

As anxiety rises up within me, my mind plays certain ugly scenarios over and over. The Lord interrupts my anxious thoughts, “Be still”  He says, “And know that I am God”.

I ignore Him, “Wait a minute Lord, I need to finish this thought”.

“Be Still” my Father interrupts me again, “And know that I am God.”

I took my thoughts captive and rested in the God who knows all, who loves my son and who will tend to His needs as the Loving Shepherd He is.

Today I choose to rest in the arms of our Father. How great is the love the Father has lavished on us!

“You hem me in, behind and before,

and lay your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,

It is high; I cannot attain to it

If I ride the wings of the morning,

if I dwell by the farthest oceans,

even there your hand will guide me,

and your strength will support me.”  Psalm 139:5 & 10

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Yes, that was my son who burped during Church

Yes, that was my son who burped during church.

Believe me; I am very conscientious about not disturbing those around us.  We sit on the edge of the aisle, sandwiching our boy with special needs strategically in between us.  We bring gummies and writing utensils to help him make it quietly through the long service.

But there is only so much a mom can do.  Knowing when he will burp or if he will cover his mouth is one of those things out of my control.

The great thing about it was no one turned around to glare at us.

What a gift, for a special needs family to be able to attend church without being inhibited by the stares of people.  Every mom should be given the opportunity to figure out their mothering, without a disapproving audience.

My heart often goes out to the mom in the grocery store who has her hands full of little ones and the need to get her shopping done.  Every one of us can tell the story of our kids losing control in such a situation.

We are doing our best, we prepare strategies to help our kids manage the store outing, and then one of the kids loses it.  I watched it happen today.

It wasn’t her fault.  She was checking out of the store while her little girls still had it all together.  But the cashier was in training, moving terribly slowly and finally giving Mom the wrong change.

The rest of us in line were losing our patience, and so were those little ones.

Spontaneous combustion!  The girls began taunting each other, pulling on Mom’s leg, and Mom began to quietly lose her cool.

I looked for the opportunity to give her a smile.  I wanted her to know it is okay.

The problem for young moms is this, they all know everyone is watching-and judging-when their kids fall apart.  Do we really think we are helping her when we glare?

You know the feeling; your face becomes hot with embarrassment.  The more you try to control your kids in front of everyone, the worse it gets.

Sometimes we witness parents losing their cool because they are reacting to the pressure they perceive from others when the kids are falling apart.

Sister, what if we gave each other a break?  What if we graciously considered this mom really is doing the best she can?

What if we considered the unknown situations that have factored into this mommy drama?

For instance, her child has an ear infection and won’t stop crying, but she needs to get to the store for milk and necessities.  Most of us have been there and could have used some support ourselves.

Just as the mom began to feel the stress of moving out of my way in line, I reached out to pat her back.  I said, “You are doing fine.  Don’t worry about me.”

She gave me a sigh and a little smile.

I hope one more Mom can shut out the noise of the disapproving crowd.

Walk tall my sister.  Keep trying your best at this mothering thing.

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