If there's one thing I know, it's that parenting has taught me so much about God's unwavering, unconditional love for me.
I love my husband, very much. I love my family and friends. But the love that I have for others is so different. It is an equal love. There generally is some give and take. The love I have for Georgie is consuming. It is completely unconditional and undeserved. I love her because she is mine. Not because of anything she has done or is going to do. But because she belongs to me.
Some nights, especially when I've watched a sad movie, or read something emotional in a book. I just want to go in to Georgina's room while she is sleeping, and wake her up and just love her. Cuddle her, play with her, make her smile. I just love her so much. But that kind of love is very selfish. It is all about me, enjoying her. The best thing for her is not be woken in the middle of a restful sleep. So I don't.
That got me to thinking about God. Why He doesn't give us blessing upon blessing. He gives us just what we need. But He doesn't bestow present after present upon us like a guilt-ridden parent. He knows that we need to learn how to earn our way, so He doesn't let us win that million dollars in the lottery. He knows that we will be better for the trials, even though He hates to watch us in them. He loves us enough not to spoil us, to only give us what we need, not what we want.
Some days with Georgie she only has a small sleep. She normally sleeps for at least one and a half or two hours, and is much better for it. But occasionally and for no apparent reason she might decide to only sleep for forty minutes. And this always seems to happen on the days when I could use a nap too! But (mostly) on the days when she wakes up screaming and upset I go to her. I comfort her despite the fact that I might want to have space to be away from her. Because she needs me and I love her. And if I can't get her back to sleep we play and laugh even though I know she will be grumpy and unhappy later on in the day because she could have slept more.
And God does that too. He comforts us and helps us, even when we are doing things that He doesn't like. He continues to take care of us and bless us even though He knows that the path we've chosen is not the right one and will lead to unhappiness.
He is good. All the time. He is the best Father, the best parent. And it doesn't always come easily. But He loves us enough to love us unconditionally, unselfishly and extravagantly.
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