By: Linda Grabeman
Chloe and I had this recurrent conversation, joyfully spoken countless times throughout her childhood. It went like this:
Chloe: I love you.
Me: I love you more.
Chloe: I love you more than that.
Me: I love you everything.
Drumroll, little drummer boy. Here’s the hinge of history, the grace gate that opens into the manger: Jesus came to show us that God loves us everything. In every mood, every mess-up, every misgiving, He loves us. Regardless of our failures and in response to our fears and funky feelings, in everything, He loves us.
What does that mean to you? Here’s what it means to me: God gets me, and because He does, I’m good enough.Good enough without working to make the grade. Good enough to be welcomed into His arms. Good enough to be loved by Him. That knowledge changes me. It re-makes me. It defines me.
That’s an inconceivable notion to so many. Unthinkable…and untaken. Unbelieved and unreceived. To be offered a gift so priceless, so rare, and to refuse it, that’s tragic. But the joyous Christmas anthem rings out for those of us who believe that God loves us everything.
John 1:12 says, “But to as many as received Him, He gave the right to be children of God.” I love you everything children. But there’s more. This everything love not only saves us when we die, it settles us while we live. Because this everything love flows from an everything God. He understands all the places where we are broken, burdened or barren, where we have nothing. That’s why He has more than one name in the Christmas accounts of Matthew and Luke. Not only is He Jesus, “God saves”, He is Emmanuel, “God with us.”
I wrote this in my journal just two days ago: “Lord, You know how little sleep I’ve had…I’m in a knot. My stomach is churning. My mind racing. No rest, no relief. That’s why I need a Savior. I need You to save and settle me. Untie those places where I am tangled up, where I can’t disengage, just a mass of fears and frustrations. I need release, redirection, and refilling. Come, Lord Jesus.”
Here’s the good news: the knots are gone, the stomach calmed. They’ll freak out again just as they’ve done before. They’ll be met with the same mercy, the same grace, the same everything love. This everything God came. He saved me, He settled me.
Please, meet Him today. Meet Him with His saving, settling love. And then meet Him after the straggly tree is hauled off. Meet Him daily with His gift of everything love.