My pastor Michael Lawrence rebuked me in his preaching this past Sunday when he said that children judge their parents’ love on wrong standards when they think their parents don’t love them because they say no. God loves us, even when we wrongly and immaturely think he doesn’t when he says no to our prayers or desires. God loves us by giving us what we need, which isn’t always what we want. I thought of that tonight as I heard my son cry out for me from his crib when he needed to sleep. “Abba! Abba!” he cried (yes, he calls me “abba” which simply means “daddy” in modern Hebrew). I wanted so bad to go to him and pick him up and hug him and lay down beside him on my bed (not his crib). But I restrained myself because he needs to learn to sleep on his own and he needs to learn that it will be okay. Of course, if it is in my power, and he is crying because he is in danger or unnecessary pain, I will relieve him and deliver him as quickly as I can. So would God. He’s our Father and promises good to us who are in Christ, even when he says “No” to our desires. He says no because he loves us. He’s being wise and strategic and at the exact point he’s saying no to our desires, he’s saying yes to our good and our need. And I’m sure God is not indifferent to our cries in necessary pain. He feels for us and cares for us. So let’s revel in the wise and perfect love of God!
John 3:16 (ESV) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.