Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Father’s Love

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1

July 2… a cloudless 80 degree day… a day trip to the ocean and friends who lived there. Peter and I both thought it the best way to celebrate the heart of summer! The inability to swim and actually be on the beach caused some disappointment. But the heat intolerance due to his mitochondrial disease ruled out that option. However, thoughts of boardwalk junk food and arcade games created plenty of excitement as we drove east.

Peter confidently headed to the arcade convinced another self-won prize would accompany him home like in past visits. The changes in his abilities since we’d last visited the boardwalk left me less certain. My heart broke as I watched his sparkle diminish when he struggled to do what he could years before. I found myself praying for God’s mercy and grace. The games themselves weren’t important, but my son’s spirit was. We spent too much money as we searched for games he could win. Eventually he sported a few small prizes from the “everybody wins” booths.

Then I spotted the claw! Featured in the movie Toy Story and in a SpongeBob episode, a show Peter watched every day, I knew Peter would relate to this game. But in my ignorance, I didn’t recognize its difficulty. I teased him, as we got change for four tries, whether he’d have the SpongeBob touch, who could win with his eyes closed, or the Squidward touch, who spent zillions of quarters without success. Peter bubbled with laughter and smiles as our friend explained the game. I helped a bit at first, but then suddenly the claw dropped! The tremors in Peter’s hand caused him to accidentally push the button. I panicked as I doubted the claw's position. I think I got out an "Oh Lord" in my head before the claw rose… with a PRIZE! Our friend went crazy that Peter had won first try. She explained her sons regularly wasted so much money on this game without success. Peter just leaned back in his wheelchair, both hands raised high, his head thrown back with a huge grin of victory! I stood amazed at the love of our Father!

See, I have this streak in me which doubts that our God and Father wants to do what his Word says – LAVISH his love upon us. Sure I like doing special things for those I love, but I also know the conditional limits of my love and acceptance. Plus, it's one thing to meet a need, but another altogether to fulfill a wish or desire. But doesn't lavish love do both? Peter’s win proved the reality of God’s Word. Peter did not have to win a prize, but God knew the precarious position of Peter’s spirit as he struggled with accepting his decline. God does want to lavish his love and attention on Peter, on me, even to these smallest details and desires in our hearts. I can trust his unconditional love and goodness.

I pray you will see God's lavish love in your life. It manifests in the crisis and important aspects of our lives as well as the ordinary of every day. Don’t miss out by only looking for him when in trouble. Seek him in all things. He already knows how he will lavish his unconditional love on you today. Look for it!

I’d love to hear about it if you want to share below! :-)


  1. That was so uplifting! Peter is amazing and God's presence was so visible!!! Thanks for sharing the story!!!!!!!!! :)

  2. Oh, Juli ... you have brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart ... joy for Peter, for you, and for me. Thank you for the reminder of the unfathomable love the Creator of the universe and King of all that exists CHOOSES to bestow on me.