It is very difficult to grasp the love of God. As believers, we feel it, see it and believe it. But we experience all those things through eyes and hearts of sin. Sin has robbed us of full and complete knowledge of the love of God. As we are sanctified, our understanding of the love of God grows deeper. And as we experience the joys and pains of life, still deeper.
On Wednesday night, March 3, my husband Barry was admitted into the hospital with what we would learn was Tylenol poisoning. In less than 2 hours, he was transfered into the ICU with kidney and liver failure. Needless to say, fear and despair ran through my soul in a way that cannot be described with words. I spent several hours in the ICU that night crying out to God to save him - to heal his body and restore his health. His nurse told me that he would probably not survive - and if he did, he would need dialysis for the rest of his life. My parents took me home for a few hours in the middle of the night to rest, but rest did not come. But in the darkness of that bedroom, I heard from God.
You see, I knew that I was watching my husband die. I was praying for, begging for and trusting in God to heal. I knew He had the power. But I also knew that He might not choose to exercise that power.
In what seemed so horrible, I came to a deeper understanding of the love of God. The agony of watching the love of my life die was unbearable. I would have given ANYTHING to make his pain stop, to see him healed. Yet in my agony, I could not stop thinking about the cross. How could God, all-powerful God, watch His Son suffer and die? Knowing the love I have for Barry pales in comparison to the love God has for Jesus, I was overwhelmed with the sacrifice of God on my behalf. I am undeserving of the death of Jesus on the cross. Yet God loves me so much that He not only allowed, but orchestrated the death of His Son on the cross for me. Even now, my mind cannot completely wrap around that kind of love.
So, as I walk a very painful road, I walk it knowing that I am deeply loved. The God who loves me so deeply will carry me through this pain. He will carry my children through their pain. He will carry His church through their pain. And He will continue to show us how much He loves us. A love so amazing, so divine it demands my heart, my soul, my all.
Thank you God for the cross. Without it, I would never know love. Because of it, I know true love.