I recently read this children’s book to my friends’ 3-month-old son and started bawling.
I was deeply moved for two reasons: (1) I love this kid like he’s my own flesh, (2) the book is profoundly theological—it reflects the type of love God has for his children.
The book is essentially a parents’ love poem to their child; a love promise that transcends distance, time, and circumstance. It portrays a type of love that cannot be lost, tainted, or diminished.
The authors of Scripture knew this boundless love well. They experienced God’s persistent, enduring, and tireless love, despite their mistakes, shortcomings, or wanderings. It’s no coincidence that they used the parent-child relationship as a metaphor for the divine love they felt.
Whether living in Egypt as oppressed slaves, God’s promise remained…wherever you are, my love will find you.
Whether fearfully roaming in the desert, God provided for his children…wherever you are, my love will find you.
Whether displaced and suffering under Babylonian domination, God sought his people… wherever you are, my love will find you.
God’s love is most profoundly displayed in Jesus’ life-giving sacrifice on the cross. Here, God reaches out to a world in relational exile, letting them know, he’s not abandoned them…wherever you are, my love will find you.
Like the children’s book, the Bible tells the story of God’s love for us; a love that is timeless, limitless, and steadfast. It doesn’t wane when we stray. It’s not contingent upon who we are or what we’ve done. It’s not dependent on our accomplishments, abilities or efforts; nor is it something we have to earn.
Rather, like a parent, it’s simply a gift God lavishes on us. It flows out of his very nature, and thus, is something he freely gives.
He merely asks us to receive it, delight in it, and be transformed by it.