“Love you more!” is my mom’s sign off for every phone call, her signature on each card. She is steadfast in her declarations; anyone who challenges her soon learns that she can go the distance to have the last word. She insists from the depth of her being. She’s not being showy. She’s just invested over a lifetime of giving sacrificially to each of us. Mom will give you whatever she has if you have a need.
Brennan Manning, in his book The Furious Longing of God, writes this, “If you took the love of all the best mothers and father who have lived in the course of human history, all their goodness, kindness, patience, fidelity, wisdom, tenderness, strength, and love and united all those qualities in a single person, that person’s love would only be a faint shadow of the furious love and mercy in the heart of God the Father addressed to you and me at this moment.” (emphasis mine)
I can hardly read these words in Hosea 11 without feeling something of the depth of that furious love expressed here:
“When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son.
But the more they were called,
the more they went away from me.
It was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
taking them by the arms;
but they did not realize
it was I who healed them.
I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love.
To them I was like one who lifts
a little child to the cheek,
and I bent down to feed them.
The memories are intensely personal. God describes those most vulnerable moments in the lives of children as His own experience with His followers.
Unable to rescue themselves, He, the Almighty, took the initiative to lead Israel through a series of miracles toward a loving relationship with Himself. He, the Most Holy One, laments their lapse in relationship with such tenderness, despite the hurt of being rejected by them for idols carved from wood or fashioned from metals.
God as Father is undeterred by our failures in pursuing a relationship with us, discontent to leave it there. His furious love compelled Him.
“For God so loved the world, He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life…”
This is just who God is. We can barely take it in. He “loves us more!”
I’d love to hear your thoughts about God and His love for us. I can’t get over it.
The photographer for the black & white photo is JJ McCleary from Keynote.org. All references from the New International Version of the Bible, Zondervan.
Linking up with Faith-Filled Fridays and Beholding Glory
I love the image of God tenderly caring for us as we see parents gently loving and providing for their infants…beautiful post!
so do i, cindy–it’s made me think differently about the tenderness of God! thanks!
Found your post via Faith Filled Friday. What a good reminder (and how precious that your mom uses that phrase- and really lived it!). God’s great love seen through His forgiveness as I fail time and time again, is hard to comprehend! What a great God we serve!
thanks for coming by, Becca! He is amazing, and so is my mom.
Beautiful post and great reminder of how much He does loves us continually.
Amazingly unconditional- God is steadfast in his love for us! Thanks for your encouragement, Pacjac.
I love this! You can never exhaust God’s love. Like your comment on my blog last week–that a “wide and spacious place” has the same meaning as the Hebrew word for “Salvation.” That a beautiful truth, this idea that our salvation in Christ Jesus is a finished work in eternity and also an ongoing expansion of freedom in our everyday lives here on Earth. Because He wants us to live to the fullest abundance of that finished work every minute, every hour of every day. Thank you!
Thanks, Sadee. Keeping that truth in the front of my mind is the challenge. WE only see to a small degree all that He has for us. I want to live as fully as I can in His love and grace and power. it’s the “wide and spacious place.” 🙂