By Wendy Berghane, Hearts Alive Curriculum Specialist
The time has come! It is time to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus! The birth of a new baby is always so special and exciting. I have watched many friends and family bring a new life into the world and every single time, their world changes in an instant. I clearly remember the moment I became a mother. I have never loved anything or anyone with such intensity so quickly! I delighted in this precious baby’s being from the moment I laid eyes on him. His face, his tiny hands and feet, his coos, and even his cries were all miracles, and my heart felt like it was going to burst with adoration, protection, and joy. And then when I had a second baby, it felt just the same. It wasn’t a one and done pouring out of love. My heart grew big enough to hold the same intense feelings for my sweet baby girl. And each time I gave birth, and each time I watched friends and family welcome a new baby, I think to myself that the love I feel, the love these new parents feel, doesn’t hold a candle to the love God has for us. Let that sink in for a minute, friends. It’s a powerful and amazing thought.
Years ago, I heard a devotional on Zephaniah 3:17, and this verse still gives me chills when I read it through the lens of a parent: “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”
If you are a parent or have a close relationship with a child, I think you can relate to these feelings.
As a parent, even when your child is not physically in your presence, you are with them. They never leave your heart or your mind. They are a part of you forever.
We certainly cannot save our children from hurts, failures, mistakes, harm, and suffering. But we are protectors and do our best to try in our frail humanity. But God is a mighty God who is also protective of his children. And he does save us! He came down in human form through Jesus and sacrificed himself to protect us from death!
We have all had moments of absolute delight when it comes to our children. Their first smile, their first steps, the times that they make us laugh with their silliness or speak words to us or others that are kind and loving. We all can make a list of a million things our children have done that leaves our hearts breathless with joy. God has those same feelings, all day every day. And it isn’t subject to their good deeds, but he simply delights in the person he created. Our gifts, our strengths, our smiles. He delights in his good work!
How many times have I held my child close when they were sad or anxious? How many times have I kissed a bruised elbow or given gentle, confidence-building words before a new experience? Part of my job as a parent is to give my child hope in their doubt, to reassure them of their ability to get through tough times, and to pour out love at all times. God is the same, friends. And his hope, his reassurance, his love is so much bigger and more powerful than what I can give my own children. The hope and love and reassurance I can give my kids is wrapped in my best, but it is still broken. I can only do so much. God’s love can bring a peace to my heart and to the hearts of my own children that no one else can.
Since I am a passionate cheerleader for my kids and blessed with a loud, booming voice, this truly makes me smile. There is nothing that brings me more joy than cheering on my kids. Be it from the bleachers at a baseball game, from the audience of a dance competition, or simply on the sidewalk watching their first bike ride without training wheels, I love to encourage and sing and dance and sometimes make a fool of myself rejoicing in my kids’ gifts and accomplishments. While God can never look a fool, he does rejoice over us with enthusiasm! He is for us! He is excited when we accomplish things! He cheers us on every single day! We are his delight! We are his love! We are his children!
There are so many verses in the Bible that tell us how important we are to him—how his love for his children (you and me) is so big and so strong. And nothing shows us his crazy big love for us than the birth of Jesus. God himself loved us so much that he came down to earth in the form of a baby. He, the King of all Kings, put himself in the most humble setting and lived among us so that we could understand God’s love. And then he saved us from death. He saved us from our own demise. He defeated the sins of the world because YOU are that important. He is our Father, a parent, who loves us fiercely.
Our children's curriculum, Hearts Alive, comes with both parent and teacher resources that will help you connect truths in the Bible to your own life and the lives of the children you come in contact with. We would love to give you a free sample. Check it out here!
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