“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.