How My Shortcomings Help Me Understand God’s Love

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.

Lois Flowers

P.S. I’m linking up this week with Jennifer Dukes Lee at #TellHisStory, Holley Gerth at Coffee for Your Heart and Kelly Balarie at Purposeful Faith.

18 Responses to How My Shortcomings Help Me Understand God’s Love

  1. Christi says:

    So much to think about here. As always, you make me feel like you just invited me in for a cup of coffee to talk. And P.S… I can’t find a search feature on your blog for that “What I’d say to myself 10 years ago” post you mentioned so email a link if you get a chance!

    Love.Love.Love getting to know more about you! Adoption hadn’t come into view yet as part of your story 🙂

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Thanks for the P.S., Christi. A search feature would be helpful, wouldn’t it?!! Adoption definitely is a big part of our story around here, one I wouldn’t change for anything in the world! Blessings to you!

  2. Oh His patience and grace towards me is the most amazing gift, from Father to child. I love how your post peels back His layers of love for us, Lois!
    Thankful for you! Visited again from #CoffeeForYourHeart!

  3. Samantha says:

    I find myself selfish and sinful as well, but thankful for Jesus. It’s humbling to know that yet while we were still sinners Christ died for us. Blessed to be visiting from #RaRaLinkup.

  4. Lois,

    I’ve often told the story of how I “understood” God’s love when I would have a bad day with my little ones and then at night when they were fast asleep, all the angst of the day would wash away as I looked upon their precious peaceful faces, filled with incredible love.

    But your post caused me to look introspectively realizing that I may “understand” God’s love in the light of the example I cited, but I am not truly “believing” it because too often I can feel that I have “failed” Him.

    Your insight into the ways we can truly understand God’s love is spot on. When God shows His incredible love, patience and mercy to me over and over again, it is then that I leap for joy in His tender blessings.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Karen, thank you for sharing your story … I love how God reveals His love to us as we go through our daily routine (including gazing upon the faces of our sleeping children)! I appreciate your kind words today!

  5. Lois,
    Don’t see my comment so I’m sorry if this duplicates…loved your post… as I can relate…grateful for God’s grace and love…tweeted your post 🙂

  6. Lois,
    I love your post because I can relate…God is such a better parent than me and I’m grateful for His grace which is available as I parent…many blessings to you as you parent your two gifts 🙂

  7. Lois, I needed this word this morning: “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.” Thankful for my unselfish God who loves me even at my worst. Cheering you on from #RaRaLinkup

  8. Linda Stoll says:

    For sure, Lois, seeing our own frailties and shortcomings can cause us to flee to His loving arms. Without Him, we won’t be able to drum up that strength we need for the long journey ahead.

    Thank you for these words of assurance this morning. What a wonderful way to start this day …

    I hope yours is a good one!

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