For centuries people have attempted to put into words the depth of a mothers love for her children. Before I had my own flesh and blood off-springs, I could not begin to fathom how one heart could hold so much love for another human being. Inspired by the childrens’ book, “Guess How Much I Love You” by Sam McBratney, my son and I have an ongoing conversation declaring the depths of our love to one another. I tell Spencer “I love you all the way to the moon and back.” Often his replies include: “I love you all the way to the end of the road and back, all the way to China and back, or all the way to Kentucky and back.” Recently, we were enjoying some “snuggle” time and I asked Spencer if he knew how much I loved him. He said, “sure mommy, you love me all the way to the moon and back.” I then told him, “Spencer, I love you more than all the fish that are in the sea.” In his six-year-old wisdom he said, “well mommy, I love you more than all the water drops in the ocean and no one else could love you that much.” It was a sweet moment shared between two people who are intricately woven together with the amazing emotion we call love. Later that day, I was reflecting on our conversation and it occurred to me that God loves me with a deeper love than I hold for my children; and that is humbling to embrace. How does one love deeper than a mother loves?
I cannot fathom, grasp, understand, or explain the depth of love that God has for me. To think that He knew me before I was (Jeremiah 1:5) and that I was “fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalms 139:14).” That is astonishing to me. Knowing that, makes me want to love Him back “as much as all the water drops in the ocean.” He loves me when I don’t love myself as I should. On days that I would rather hibernate in my cave of a home and hide from the outside pressures that weigh heavily on my heart, God is aware of my moods. Those times when my children appear to have transformed into beings that are not recognizable, God understands my frustration. In those morning hours when I haven’t had enough caffeine to like myself much less want to be with the Holy Spirit, He gives me some space. And, when I’m not at my best, He grants me mercy and grace.
The Lord is such an incredible role model for parents! Our children need for us to grant them understanding, mercy, acceptance, grace, and sometimes just plain-old space. We should strive to embody traits that God embodies and share them just as generously and graciously with our children as God shares with each of us. I love the Lord “as much as the fish in the sea” and I’m so thankful that He loves me “as much as the water drops in the ocean.”