I’m not a parent and I wonder if parents might possess a fuller understanding of God’s love. Still, the picture gets clearer for me when I consider my relationship toward some in my family.
I have a young nephew who esteems his uncle more than he does any other aunt or uncle in the family. I’m not sure how this happened, but, boy, does it feel great! A photo of us together makes me teary because I know he loves me unconditionally when I know how many unlovable things there are about me.
My sister’s dog rises to greet and dote on me each time I see him. He has never rejected me, even when I’ve accidentally stepped on him and failed to take him outside to play. But this is a characteristic of true love: It never focuses on faults.
God’s love is far greater, however, than any human or animal love. Perhaps it’s not an odd thing now that we should pause to reconsider it from time to time. Although we cannot fully get our minds around it, the concept is a worthy meditation topic, one that we can ask the Spirit to teach our hearts.
Think on it: that someone should accept us and wish for our well-being even when we might do everything to push them away; that God should set aside his splendor and perfect happiness in Heaven to come to a world of rogues that will kill him. Yet he did all of that to win our hearts to himself.
This is exactly what John 3:16 means when it says God “so loved”—or loved us ‘so much that,’ ‘in such a way,’ ‘to the extent of,’ or ‘with such intensity.’ We sense that he simply wouldn’t do without our fellowship.