What follows is a testimony from my friend, Robyn. As her pastor and counselor, she and I have often asked the Lord to reveal Himself to her in deeper and even more meaningful ways. Last week He did – in a most unexpected manner. Here is what she learned as her daughter, Mary (who is terrified of needles!), was having a cyst on her hand removed:
I must say for a ‘smart’ person I can be mighty dumb. Maybe not dumb per se, but certainly very slooooowwww…
Mary’s surgery yesterday was mostly fine except the IV. She was brave and stayed still even though she was crying. Still, the woman missed the vein. Then Mary freaked out. Her entire face turned red, her eyes were bloodshot, and she kept yelling at me that I told her she only had to do that once. I couldn’t help it and I cried. Finally they gave her some liquid Verced and she could care less what happened to her. Chris and I went to the waiting room and we waited, and waited, and waited. The surgery was quick but she took her time waking up. The entire time I felt horrible.
Later that night I was driving to get her requested special dinner. I was in the car contemplating the day and it occurred to me that I would have taken on ten times that amount of pain if it had spared her the pain she felt. There are very few people for which that is true – I would share a certain amount of pain for many people but probably would only take on the full burden of pain for Mary. Then I felt this thought – actually felt it – that told me that this is what Jesus did for me. I just accepted that as fact. Normally I take a thought and I pull it like taffy looking for the cracks. I examine it and doubt it and play with it. But this was truth and I didn’t feel the need to do anything other than accept it as such.
I’ve always looked at my relationship with God from the bottom up – child to parent. I know my parents are flawed and I have adjusted my views accordingly. I adjusted my views but not necessarily my feelings. Yeah, God loves us. Yeah, He is love. But what did that mean? I don’t think I ever really knew. I think I always viewed what Jesus did as similar to a soldier. He died for an ideal and to save an entire group of people. I just happened to be part of that group and therefore reaped the benefits. It was a personal act and yet very impersonal at the same time.
This was the first time I have considered things from the top down – parent to child. For me that changes everything. I am deeply flawed as a parent and yet I have this incredible love. How much more does God have being that he is perfect?
So I have come to my own answer about that question of what does it mean when we say God is love. There are different types of love. I do see God as encompassing all of them. See, I can be sloooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. But I eventually get there.