I love so much, it hurts

I was watching my oldest daughter tonight as she played on the living room floor. In the midst of the watching I began to think about how much I loved her. That led me to think one of those horrific thoughts that parents have, and that is about how horrible it would be if something tragic ever happened to Grace and she was taken from me. In that split second, before I could chase the thought from my mind, I hurt so strongly I could hardly stand it. The pain of loving her (and the thought of losing her) was almost more than I could humanly handle. Now, I'm not one to spiritualize everything, but as I was thinking about that pain, I was made to wonder what the disciples must have gone through after Jesus' death? I then thought about the gut wrenching pain that God must have experienced at the death of His Son. Even if one would give their child over for the sake of many others, that in no way could ever lessen the pain of your own child's death. In that moment I was overwhelmed with God's love for us. It kind of put a lot of the struggles with the SBC in perspective.

The struggles were clarified in two separate ways for me. First, it helped remind me that I can't allow these issues to become too important to me. That doesn't mean they're not important, they are extremely important. Of much greater importance, however, is for me to learn to live in God's grace and love, and for me to communicate that grace and love to others.

The second clarification for me, however, was of the importance of our struggle. The issue of placing extra-biblical parameters on those who follow Christ is grounded in a love for legalism and not a love for God. A love for legalism is not an accurate portrayal of the love of God in one's life and therefore I will struggle against this pharisaical madness for as long as I have breath.

So, if I could encourage you tonight, it would be to spend some time this evening meditating on the great love of God. Guys like me, who believe in the doctrines of grace, are often a little too guilty of majoring on the justice of God (for good reason) and minoring on the love and grace of God (to our detriment). I hope tonight you will take some time to be overwhelmed by God's love. It will give you a wonderful new perspective on life.

that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Ephesians 3:17b-21