i was reading my friend's blog a few weeks back and she posted a story she saw in an email forward...i loved it! and here's the story....i'm paraphrasing, but you could read it here.
it was a warm day when a father and his son arrived home...the boy was so excited to be able to go swimming in the lake that day...so excited that as he got out of the car, he headed directly to the water and jumped in with his clothes on and swam to the center of the lake. the father, who had a better view from land, saw that his son was in danger and immediately began yelling and waving his arms for his son to come back to him. the son heard the father and made a 360 back towards his dad. he reached land, but as his dad reached to lift him out of the water, an alligator got a hold of his legs and a torturous game of tug-of-war took place. an alligator is obviously no match for a man, but the father had passion the alligator didn't have. this was his son...and no alligator was gonna take that from him. eventually, a farmer heard the noise and came to help and the alligator released the grip of the boy's legs. he was rushed to the hospital and thankfully recovered. the local news was all over this heroic story. one reporter asked the young boy if they could see his scars...he uncovered his legs to show them all. but then he said, "but look at my arms!!"....his arms were a testimony of the passionate grip of his father who loved him so much that his fingers dug into his arm. i bet that boy was never unsure of his father's love because he has a permanent reminder.
i loved this story because because i, just like you, have scars...some of them are physical...i have burns, scars from falling, scars from surgery...some are emotional...and some are spiritual...but they all tell a story of where i've been and what i've survived.
the bible tells us in 1 peter 3:15 to always be ready to answer for the hope we have.
the answer for the hope i have is that God loves me passionately.
i love God, but i love Him because He first loved me...it would be awesome if i could claim that i did something to earn God's love...that i did something to make the God of the Universe, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, love me....
....but it's incredibly reassuring to know that i don't have to....
His love is shown to us first in creation....He created us for His pleasure, but He also knew that we would let Him down sometimes...He knew we wouldn't stay perfect...but He was ok with initiating a relationship with someone like me...He created me anyways....and continues to work in me. that's pretty neat.
His love is shown to us in His birth...born to die...He knew it all along...He'd have to die for His creation...He willingly did so...what an incredible story of a King that became a baby...the most humbling way to start...(i often wonder what Jesus' thoughts were as a baby...were they as simple as ours probably were...or were they ponderings of His great future He had planned, the miraculous plan of our redemption).
His love is shown to us on the cross..."For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Begotton Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" John 3:16...He paid a debt that we could never pay. (Thank You for that sacrifice.)
as this year closes, my thoughts are on His love...i'm thankful His grip is ferocious and that His love for me is passionate...i'm thankful for my scars. they are proof of my survival. they are proof He's stronger. if it wasn't for His love, i would have died by the fury of sin, depression, obssessive thoughts, fear, anxiety and grief.
what are you thankful for today? what have you learned this year?