When we were little kids, it was heartbreaking for my brother, sister and me when we discovered that our parents planned to move us from Texas to Georgia. Dad got a job at Lockheed Marietta, GA. I can say in each of our cases the main reason we hated to leave was “Grandma.” She would now live 850 miles from us. In those days, you almost lost all contact when you moved that distance. The good news is that Grandma came once a year to spend several weeks with us. One of my fondest memories this side of heaven is as a young kid falling asleep nestled up to Grandma’s soft belly with my head resting on her arm. In those few moments, the world was great! I felt so loved and protected…the world was all good, full of hope and trust. We loved Grandma.
Over the weekend, our Life Group focused on the love of Jesus. Whenever I think of His love, my mind almost always goes to 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. These verses list the fifteen characteristics of God’s love. One of my tasks has been memorizing them. I figured if I am supposed to live out the love of Jesus, I should know and remember what it looks like. While reciting or meditating, I inevitably run thru the last four of these characteristics without thinking much about them…almost as an afterthought. For some reason, yesterday, these four characteristics really hit me. “Love always protects, Love always trusts, Love always hopes, Love always perseveres.” Meditating on these and sharing some wonderful moments with God, I found myself “nestled up to Grandma’s soft belly” realizing anew that God paid the ultimate price willing to give His Son up for us to know and enjoy us to the “nth” degree. He protects, “lavishing” (Ephesians 1:8 and 1 John 3:1) us with trust and hope and the ability to persevere no matter what.
Each of us should never forget the intimacy, abundance and joy living “in the vine” (John 15), enjoying “Christ dwelling in your heart through faith” (Ephesians 3:17), “supping” with Him (Revelation 3:20 KJV) and the Holy Spirit “interceding” for us in the deepest parts of our being (Romans 8:26-27). Our God loves us dearly and deeply.
Let me suggest that you start getting alone with God. Don’t rush. I realize in the maddening mess of today this is almost impossible. MAKE TIME regularly! Maximize your windshield time driving to and from work or wherever, while waiting for your kids or an appointment or while exercising if these are the only timeslots you have. You will have to discipline yourself to tune out the world and tune into Him. Meditate on and absorb His Word. Here is what will happen. “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you” (Isaiah 26:3). You are nestled up to Grandma’s soft belly!