4 Ways to Recognize the Lavish Love of God Part III
My youngest son almost died when he was three. Naively, after a summer of swim lessons he thought he could just launch out into deep water. Which is exactly what he did the moment I turned my back on him to tend to the oldest child.
Within seconds my husband dove into the pool, lifted his little face-down-body out of the water and laid him on the concrete. I watched in shock as he coughed up water from his mouth. It was a sight no mother ever wants to see.
Those events were on repeat in my mind for the remainder of our vacation. Mentally, I kept singing a verse and chorus of what ifs. “What if my husband had been seconds later? What if my baby didn’t make it? What would life be like without him?”
That day I experienced the love of God in a way He has demonstrated countless times on my behalf. Whether I’m keenly aware or completely aloof, God’s lavish love is seen by His protection.
# 3 His Protection
In saying that God’s love is demonstrated by His protection I recognize this may cause some to question whether they are loved by God at all. Evaluating all that has been allowed in your life may leave you feeling unprotected by Him. You may question where was God when your child wasn’t saved. Or why didn’t He swoop down and rescue you from that car accident, financial crisis, painful relationship, or terminal illness? What type of loving God would allow these things to happen to his people?
If this is your current perspective I understand. There was a season in my adult life where I felt betrayed by God. Because I could not answer why a good God allowed bad things to happen, God became a cruel manipulator: sitting high and crafting painful experiences at will.
I wrestled with the age old question of, “Why does God allow suffering? Sickness? Death? Murder? Rape? Abuse?” How can these horrible realities continue to persist in the presence of a loving God?
What I’ve discovered is that God’s allowance of difficult things in our lives does not equate to an absence of His love for us: that is a constant. God loves us infinitely. In Jeremiah 31: 3 (NIV) it says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”
God’s love is steadfast. But the question remains, if His love never ceases and He demonstrates His love through protection, why are there some things we are not protected from? I cannot completely answer this question, but I can however, offer a few possible reasons why.
- Bad things occur because of the presence of sin. As a result of sin’s entrance into this world difficulties are unavoidable and will be experienced by every person.
In John 16: 33b (NIV) it says, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
- Challenging experiences display the power of God. Families coming together after the death of a loved one, people who’ve endured hardship helping others in similar situations, and sacrificial giving in an effort to rally around entire communities during a tragedy all display the lavish love of God.
In 1 Peter 4: 12 – 13 (NIV) it says, “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.”
- Sometimes God allows bad things in our lives so that we will turn to Him. In many cases, we might never consult God without adversity.
In Psalm 46: 1 (NIV) it says, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”
- God uses the challenges we experience to encourage others.
In 2 Corinthians 1 : 3 – 4 (NIV ) it says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
Although God does not protect us from everything, and every person will experience some type of suffering, that does not change the nature of God. God is love and He loves mankind. If we were to take an inventory of our lives we would discover there are many things he has protected us from that we either did not notice of simply took for granted.
The are accidents avoided, and diagnoses that were altered, and outcomes that we never experienced all because of God. If we are breathing then God’s protection is operable in our lives and that is an indication of His lavish love for us.