Sandwich, fruit, snack, drink, napkin.
Check, check, check, check and check,
Two Hershey kisses and a note saying, “Kisses from me to you. Love, Mom.”
It really doesn’t matter whether we packed the lunch bag or sent the money in for the lunch line, whether we wrote a note or didn’t, if we enclosed a fancy napkin or sent in a folded paper towel, still we moms likely thought of lunch. We made a plan to provide for our child’s nourishment.
Not all kids have a mom or dad who lives out love every day through simple acts of kindness and provision. That makes it easy to forget that a sandwich for lunch and clean clothes for school are an expression of love.
The people in your life, whether they are your children, or your grandchildren, or your aging parents, or a sick friend, could say you love them because of your words. When I grab my girls in a surprise hug and whisper, “I love you,” my girls always sigh loudly and say in exasperation, “We know, Mom. You tell us all the time!”
Maybe you tell your loved ones that you care all the time, too.
But there are depths of love that remain inexpressible in words and are only made clear in our actions. No one may even recognize the love while it’s ongoing, but they would miss it in a heartbeat if you weren’t there.
It’s the fact that we’ve provided for their lunch. It’s being there to meet the bus at the end of the day. It’s sitting at the table and patiently working through math problems.
And so much more.
It’s smoothing back hair and bringing juice to a sick child.
It’s reading a book by a nursing home bed.
It’s holding a hand in a hospital room
It’s toting a meal to a recovering neighbor.
It’s washing bed linens soiled by sickness.
It’s writing a note to a friend.
In our everyday lives, our love doesn’t matter much if it’s expressed in words, but never in deed.
God’s love would be a bunch of meaningless words on a page, too, if He didn’t lavish us with grace every day.
There in His Word, He tells us that He loves us. We most likely read it or say it or hear it everyday and twice on Sundays.
As adults, though, it’s so easy to become blase and apathetic about God’s love for us. It’s a children’s concept. The Sunday School theme. We define God’s love by nursery songs like “Jesus loves me, this I know for the Bible tells me so.”
And so over time, it seems we picture God as loving us, but not passionately loving us. It’s more of an unemotional general concern for our well-being and maybe more for the condition of the planet rather than for us personally.
We’ve even confined one of the most powerful Scriptures in the Bible to a kid’s memory verse and little more: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish and have eternal life” (John 3:16).
But did you see that in this verse His love has legs? He didn’t just say, “Those people I made, they sure are great! I like them a whole lot and care about them a bunch.”
He put His great love into action.
He loved the world, not just the human population, but you and me and each child on a school bus and each person on your street, individually, uniquely and passionately enough to sacrifice His own Son for our eternal destination.
He wants to spend eternity with you. Now that’s over-the-top passion.
Why do we sometimes picture God as sitting relaxed on His throne, watching impassively as life bombards us with strife? Why do we acknowledge that He sacrificed His Son for us and then treat that as “no big deal?” Or perhaps we fail to recognize the millions of ways He sends gifts of love and grace to us every single day.
In Psalm 136, the worship leader engaged his congregation in responsive praise. He sang out what God has done for them and the people answer in return, “His love endures forever.”
Twenty-three times they sing back the refrain, declaring that God loves them and always will.
Why? Just because He said the words, “I love you”?
No, because He “made the heavens” and “set the earth upon the waters.” He brought Israel out from slavery in Egypt and “divided the Red Sea asunder and brought Israel through the midst of it, but swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea.” He struck down enemy kings and gave the Hebrew nation the Promised Land.
It’s a litany of God’s love. “His love endures forever” and we know it because of all He has done for us.
There at the bottom of the long list of reasons to give thanks: “He gives food to every creature” (Psalm 136:25).
Oh, yes, He packs our lunch.
How has God shown you His love today? How can you give Him thanks?
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2011 Heather King