“Jodi, she’s having a seizure.” In the moment, the words that flowed out of my husband’s calm but stern voice were incomprehensible to me. “A seizure?!” I thought, as I ran across the house towards the couch where our sick daughter had camped out for the last twenty-four hours. “How can this be?!” We were told that this was likely the flu. In the next few moments, I watched my husband lay our daughter out on the floor, just like they teach you in first aide, accompanying our girl through perhaps the most terrifying moments I have ever had to witness as a mom. My baby girl, my strong-willed baby girl, succumbing to illness, and there was nothing that I could do about it, except pray to God that all would be okay. “Please let it all be okay.”
After a few hours at the hospital, it was determined this all was caused by a UTI, and we can expect that this perhaps was the only time our girl would ever have this kind of seizure, as kids who react this way to fever usually out-grow these by late childhood. As I regained my breath, I offered a prayer of thanksgiving to the One who brought us through. Although I knew that God knows fully well the pain of losing a child, I was filled with immense gratitude that I was spared the same agony.
God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life (Jn 3:16).
Today when I encounter these words, I am drawn to the quiet parallels between God’s never-ending love for us and the incredible love that I have for my own children. The love that I feel for my children is immeasurable. I would do anything to protect and provide for them, and even more to save them from suffering, pain, and, if I could, even death. God’s love for us, however, is so much greater than that. His love is so great that he did not save his only son from death, even though he could have. Surpassing all human understanding and extending across all time and place, God sacrificed his son so that we might live. He gave a part of himself for the sake of our eternal life. His love transcends boundaries. It truly knows no bounds. How incredibly fortunate we are that he loves us so—giving his son so that we might live forever in communion with him.
The realization that God loves us in this way—giving so much more than I could ever give—is something that I yearn for my children to grasp. My joyful hope is that they, too, understand this incredible love. I pray that they will hear the great invitation to enter into relationship with the Lord—to encounter his love and grace, embracing the joyful hope that comes through his sacrifice so that we may have eternal life. I hope that my immeasurable love of my own children teaches them that God endured the agony of losing his only son so that we may never have to endure the agony of being alone. I know this to be true because even in the briefest of the darkest hours God’s love never ceases. Oh, how he loves us!