Monday, October 6, 2008

God's Love is Like Mashed Potatoes

Well, not exactly. Yesterday at church our pastor used this analogy and it really made an impact. I suppose you're wondering exactly how God's love can have anything in common with mashed potatoes. I did too. 1 John 3:1 says, "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God." The key word is lavished. Pastor spoke of a lavish plate of mashed potatoes and gravy, to illustrate the term. I don't know about you, but talking about food is usually a good way to get me to pay attention.

So once he has my attention and talks about God's love being lavished on us like a big plate of mashed potatoes, he goes on to an analogy with even more impact. He talked about the difference between foster children and adopted children. Being an adopted child myself, I am profoundly aware of that difference. Adopted children are chosen for life. We all have been chosen by God to be adopted into his family. I was adopted as an infant, but as a teenager I really struggled with being adopted. Being raised Catholic, I believed in God and Jesus, but I didn't understand about having a relationship with Christ. I didn't see God's love being lavished on me. I thought if my own mother didn't want me, how could anyone else possibly love me. I felt like I had a hole that could only be filled by my mother. The truth is, it was a hole that could only be filled by my Father. At age 19, I had that hole filled by opening my heart to God and receiving His love. "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life" John 3:16. At that point, I finally realized that my self worth had nothing to do with my mother and everything to do with who I am in Christ. I am a child of God. He loved me enough to die for me and my selfish sins. It didn't matter if anyone on earth ever loved me. However, it was at that point that I also realized that my parents chose me. I was not an unwanted accident to them. They chose me. But I never really thought about God choosing me, until last week. My self centered brain thought I chose Him. Chris and I have been reading through Romans. Romans 8:29-30 says, "For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified he also glorified." I didn't really get that until yesterday. My parents chose me, but God predestined me. What that means to me is that He chose me before I was able to be chosen. I didn't yet exist, and God chose me. But it gets better. "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord," Romans 8:39-39. That is the love that is being lavished upon us. If we tried to lavish our love on each other, we all put together couldn't come close to God's love. But even that minute amount would make the world a wonderful place. So remember, in this time of political turmoil: God is in control, and nothing can separate us from His love.