For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned,
but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed
in the name of God’s one and only Son.
John 3:16-18 NIV
FOR GOD SO LOVED . . .
Because our eight children are separated by 19 years from top to bottom, my husband and I straddle two seasons of parenting. We have four school-age children at home, but we also have one grandson, another due in September, and our oldest daughter was due with our first granddaughter two days ago, as I’m writing this post.
I’ve known the depth of mother-love for years, but being a grandparent is heady stuff, too. And as I wait for the call from my daughter–the one announcing labor has begun and we’ll meet our granddaughter soon–I’m torn between feelings of excitement and the dread of seeing my daughter in pain, unable to take it for her.
My mother didn’t stay in the delivery room the entire time with me (she’d just pop in to see how I was doing) until my fourth child’s birth. I wanted her there, but she couldn’t handle it. It was frustrating at the time; now I understand how she felt.
Yesterday we oohed and aahed as an ultrasound tech swiped her magic wand over my daughter’s distended belly and we glimpsed the hidden world of the womb: spinal column curved in the fetal position, rapidly beating heart, tiny fingers spread wide, sweet profile. She’s a princess and a dream come true, and we await the moment when she reveals herself to her already-adoring family.
Although my first granddaughter and I have never met, I would protect her and my daughter with my life. Or any of my kids or grandkids. Parenthood takes our naturally selfish nature and turns it upside down where our children are concerned. You’ve probably seen t-shirts for moms that say Mama Bear; we moms can be cuddly and nurturing, but ferocious in the defense of our cubs, a.k.a. children.
Parents instinctively shield their offspring, which makes God’s offering of His only Son on our behalf all the more extraordinary.
Although I might choose to give my life for someone else—and honestly, I hope to never be put in that position—I would never make the choice to sacrifice one of my children.
But that’s what God did. For you. For me. For a sinful world that despised and rejected His Son (Isaiah 53:3), and yet He loved us anyway. I can’t comprehend the unfathomable sacrifice He made; only a divine love can.
For God so loved the world . . .
We were bought and paid for through the ultimate sacrifice from both Father and Son. How can we live in a way that reflects the debt we owe?Leave a Comment
Michele Morin says
Dawn, I’m also straddling the two worlds of mothering with a son still at home and three grown sons as the grandbabies start coming. After four sons and a grandson, we now have a beautiful granddaughter — an actual girl! God has used this growing family to teach me everything I know about sacrifice and devotion that springs to my heart without a thought. Could it be that grandchildren were His plan to keep our hearts alive and unselfish as we grow older?
Dawn Camp says
Maybe so, Michele! I also think He gives us a chance to relive those special memories of parenting and the chance to pour into another generation.
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
I think any mother, deep inside, says, “I can survive just about anything, but please don’t take my child.” My heart grieves for mothers who have lost a child – whether it be to miscarriage or a suicide. That, indeed, breaks one’s heart into pieces. But, God….He loved us THAT much. I can’t even fathom it. He literally gave a part of Himself- His beloved Son -because He couldn’t imagine eternity without me or without you. And Jesus, went willingly, to His death because, He too, loved us more than He loved His own life. It is a mystery that I will never fully grasp, but when I do think hard upon it I am overwhelmed by the awesome love of God.
Dawn Camp says
Amen to everything you said! It is a blessed mystery for which I am most thankful!
Mary Geisen says
These words describe exactly how I’m feeling right now. Motherhood is the greatest gift I have ever been given. But I also have momma bear tendencies when it comes to my sons. I love knowing you “get it”.
Just when we think someone couldn’t love us anymore or we have no more love to give, we are presented with these words… For God so loved the world. Thank you for this blessing today!
Dawn Camp says
Yes, Mama Bears! I remember when my sister and I realized we needed to be really certain before we told our mom someone had wronged us, because her mama bear instincts were going to kick in. 🙂
Beth Williams says
I can’t fathom how a parent-mom or dad-can lose a child. But willingly give your child away for others-that befuddles me. He loves little old me that much!!! I need to appreciate & thank Him for that love. We need to hear more preaching on the fact that God gave his ONLY son & Jesus willing went to the cross without complaining. They love us that much. The world needs to hear this message & be reminded often~~~!!
Thank you for this beautiful post! I love being reminded of God’s amazing love for me and others. I don’t have any children and I’m in my 40’s. Sometimes I’m still hopeful yet also wonder if that is just not God’s plan for my husband and I. We have sponsored children through Compassion International and that has been a blessing. I hope to stay on God’s path for me and always seek Him and glorify Him and not grow bitter. Thanks again for your sweet post! God bless you and your family. 🙂
Calvonia Radford says
Its hard to view this picture you have painted. As a mother/grandmother I too am a Mama Bear. God’s love for ys was deeper than his protective factors for his only son. My God! I can not pay tgat debt but I can live a sacrificial life in return.
Rebecca Jones says
Always amazing that He gave His Son, isn’t it? Enjoy being grandma.