Back when my soul’s desire was to be a mother, it used to bug me a bit to hear people wax poetic about how it wasn’t until they became parents that they finally understood God’s love.
Do parents somehow have the inside track on this glorious concept? I would wonder. Are those of us who aren’t mothers or fathers just out of luck when it comes to grasping how it really works?
Now that I’ve been a mom for more than a decade, I get what those effusive parents meant. While I don’t think it’s truly possible to comprehend God’s love, I can see how being willing to throw yourself under a bus to save someone, simply because he or she is your child, would give you a better feel for it. (He did that very thing, you know. Not with a bus, but on a cross.)
But it hasn’t been my affection for my children that has helped me appreciate God more deeply, though I do love them—more and more each day. Rather, it’s been my own frailties and shortcomings that have done the trick.
• When I see how my own selfishness influences my words and decisions, I’m grateful that God’s love for me is unselfish and unconditional.
• When I sense my own lack of compassion, I’m awestruck at how God’s mercies are new every morning.
• When I’m frustrated by my own shortage of patience, I’m comforted by the longsuffering nature of my heavenly Father.
• When I struggle to understand my daughters better, I’m thankful that God “knows how I am formed, and remembers that I am dust.” (Psalm 103:14)
Even the very children that God placed in my family though the miracle of adoption bear witness to His knowledge of me and what I need.
These girls, divinely selected for me and Randy by way of the China Center for Adoption Affairs, are the most fascinating people I’ve ever known. I am a different person—a better person, I hope—because of their examples.
One daughter’s genuine interest in people has pulled me out of my introverted comfort zone and shown me the joy that comes from noticing others. The other’s quiet observational ways—which at times enable her to anticipate the needs of others even before they do—have forced me to evaluate my own serving skills and take steps to improve them.
I am here for them, of course, but they are also here for me. We need each other, but even more so, we need the One who brought us together. We need Him and we want Him—His protection, His forgiveness, His presence.
And, miracle of miracles, God wants us too. He initiates a relationship with each one of us because He wants us to be His children.
His family is not complete without us.