"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:" John 1:12
I would do absolutely anything for my children. Anything. When we first discovered we were going to be parents, our initial plan was that Andy would stay home with the kids while I made a nice income for the family. This was entirely possible, as I was working my way quickly up the ladder at my place of employment. But the longer I baked that baby, the longer I wanted to be the one to stay home with my child. And as time passed, our thinking shifted, and it was determined that we would live off of what Andy could provide.
Those first few years were such a time of testing, and in fact, we still are tested to this day. I've been at home for 12 years now, and it really has been a sacrifice for us to have me at home with the kids. It would have been very easy for me to put the kids in day cares and go to work to help pay the bills. We'd probably be homeowners and have all the material possessions we could want. Instead, we're living paycheck to paycheck, and not even that sometimes. But you know what? Every sacrifice has been completely worth it to get to raise our children ourselves. And then to take it a step further and educate them ourselves as well? As I'm watching them grow and unfold into the people God wants them to be, I know that every hardship we endure, every sacrifice on our part has been worth it.
This week we are learning the ropes of our new dance schedule- and if that isn't a sacrifice, I don't know what is! The hours I spend at the dance school with the kids literally equates to the time put into a part-time job, only I'm paying them instead of getting paid. But you know, it's worth it. The hard work and effort the kids put into dance, and they joy they experience from it is worth the sacrifice- it's worth the sacrifice of my time to have them there, and it's worth the financial sacrifice. We'd much rather pay for another year of dance instead of planning family vacations. Our children are worth every penny and every second.
So how much more are we worth to out Heavenly Father? When I think of my children, and the sacrifices, and how much my heart takes joy in being able to do what we do for them, how much more does God delight in us as His children? I was so worth it to God, that He sent Jesus to pay a huge price so that I could know my Father in Heaven, and that I could spend eternity with Him. Think about that. God looked into the future, and He saw you being born. He saw you coming into this world, and His heart leaped with joy at the possibility of spending eternity with YOU. But Adam and Eve messed things up a bit, so God crafted a plan to send Jesus to fix what Adam had broken. Jesus came, and He sacrificed more than we could ever know, because He loved you more than anything. Because He loved me more than anything. Because He loved your neighbor more than anything.
Wow. God poured His heart and His breath out when He created mankind, and He loves each and every one of his children. Even the naughty ones. *Smile*
Think about that. Think about your own children- or your future children. Children can indeed by naughty from time to time, breaking rules or misbehaving, and yet, no matter how awful the offense, we always, always love them with all our heart. My children will always be my children, and I will always love them to the fullest- no matter what their transgressions may be.
How much more does the Father love His Children?
I believe that one of the reasons God gives us children is so that we get an opportunity to try to experience the great love He has for us. I don't think our love actually comes close, but it gives us a glimpse, it gives us something to refer to when we talk about the Father's Love.
It's an amazing thing. You are His precious child, and no matter how you may have stumbled or fallen, He is always right there with arms wide open waiting to spend time with you.
I could ponder this all day everyday, and every moment I am still amazed. So today I choose to delight in my Heavenly Father. I choose to be embraced by my Father and let Him share something special with me today. My eyes and ears are open and ready to see what He has for me today. It's a new day, the sun is shining, and He has something He wants to share just with me today. And He has something He wants to share just with you today. Will you open up and let Him do that today? I would pray that you would do just that.