Don't you love it when your kids say, "I love you." Sometimes I want to record it and play it back to myself repeatedly when they are acting up! My kids enjoy the book, "Guess How Much I Love You." The author uses everyday words and experiences to describe the love we feel for one another as parent and child, which often feels too vast for words. The little bunny in the story says, "I love you all the way to the moon," signifying the furthest distance the child could possibly imagine. The big rabbit in the story then counters, "I love you all the way to the moon, and back." Caleb, my eldest, soon started making up his own proclamations of love: "Mama, I love you all the way to Mars, and then to Sun and back." "Wow, Caleb," I'd say, "you love me that much? Well, I love you all the way to the next galaxy and back!" Liam, my three-year old would listen and find our love banter amusing. Today, as we drove across the river to the westside of town, Liam unexpectedly pipes in from the backseat, "Mama, you know how much I love you?" "How much?" I asked. "I love you across the street, holding hands, stay close to the stroller, look both ways, don't argue, no complaining, thank you, Jesus, go right to sleep, on the bridge, and across the Rio Grande!"
My first thought was, WHAT?!? As I considered his stream of thought I realized something so special. Though his love did not take him to India, the moon, or to another galaxy; his love took him as far as he knew to go while doing everything he could remember that I've asked him to do. It wasn't how far he could go to show his love for me; it was going as far as he could go with the right attitude. How awesome is that...a nugget of wisdom through deciphered three-yr.-old speak. I can't help finding parallels to my relationship with our heavenly Father when I communicate with my children. How often do I express to the Lord, "God, I will go to the ends of the earth for You!" or "Lord, I love You more than silver or gold!" Yet, I find myself struggling to demonstrate my love for Him through simple obedience in the steps right before me. Could it be that my Father desires for me to love Him "to the end of the day, meditating on the Word, speaking kindly to my children, and trusting Him with my worries until my head hits the pillow?" God Himself demonstrated extravagant love for us "that while we were sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8) But we find, as His little children, that to follow His Word, precept upon precept, step by step, day by day...that is our demonstration of love.
"Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day. Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged, for I keep your precepts. I hold back my feet from every evil way, in order to keep your word. I do not turn aside from your rules, for you have taught me. How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path."
Psalm 119:97-105, ESV