For one thing, I never realised how funny I really am. I’m a comedy genius. My daughter proves it. Pick up a spoon and she roars with appreciation. Flush the toilet and she cackles. I’ve had to retire the monkey dance because the excitement was making her choke.
And the admiration is mutual. Her yawns are both colourful and fulsome. She burps unicorns and her smiles are sparkles. She can’t yet talk, but her eyes speak of genius. She does this amazing thing with her toes where –
– ok! I’ll stop. Truth is…
I’m not Supermum and she’s not the next Mozart. I have no idea what I’m doing and if I leave her for two seconds she falls on her face, drools and tries to eat her own hands. But none of that matters. Beneath her behaviour is this bottom line: I love her. I would have to cut out parts of my heart to stop loving her. In fact, if I stopped loving her I’d stop being me.
I’m well aware that I’m in for rude shocks ahead. She will soon learn the word “No!” She will look at me with murder in her eyes. She will lie to my face. She will stomp her foot. She will tell me she hates me and wishes she was never born. These things may come. But the bottom line remains.
In a sense, it’s a picture of our relationship with Christ. There’s the bottom line and there are the ups and downs. It’s what the Puritans called our ‘union’ and our ‘communion’ with Jesus.
The bottom line is our union: an unbreakable relationship of covenant love, “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health.” If you have said “I will” to Jesus then you are one with Him, unbreakably and eternally. His Father is your Father. And He would have to un-Jesus Himself to stop loving you.
But what about our experience of this relationship, or communion with Him? As with parenting, this can have ups and downs. There are tantrums and ‘naughty step’ moments. Times when we stamp our feet and lie to Him and shout and scream and tell Him we can stand on our own two feet. Times when it feels like He’s holding us back. Times when we can’t understand why He acts the way He does. Times when we look at Him with beseeching eyes and say, ‘Why? Why are you washing me? Why are you challenging me when I’d rather just sit? Why are you giving me medicine when it tastes so gross?’
Nonetheless, God’s love is the kind that stands before and beneath all that rubbish. And no matter where you are or what you’ve done, you can go to Jesus and ask Him,”Do you still love me?” He says this:
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” (Jeremiah 31:3)