I crawled into bed a few nights ago, not too long after my kids fell asleep, and while getting snuggly with my pillow, felt a piece of paper scrunching up under my head. Sadly, that was nothing out of the ordinary; I’m a writer, and guilty of sleeping with books, paper, and/or pens on many occasions. When I pulled the paper out from under me, I realized it didn’t belong to my collection of notes. Someone had written me a letter! I love letters. It’s my “thing.” I was overjoyed to know that people in my house (my kids) were embracing my love for letter-writing as a form of communication. Excitedly, I opened it and began to read (I have not copied it directly because it was written in a code we lovingly call dyslexia):
I can’t wait until church camp. I am excited. And also, sometimes, I am lonely. Can you help me with any of that sometimes?
He didn’t sign it. He didn’t have to. Needless to say, this letter tore my heart. I crawled up into the lap of God and bawled my heart out. Lord, what more can I give of myself? I would do anything to help him with that. I felt in the deepest part of me a desperation for my son. His need, expressed in so few words, cried out to me for help and attention. I’d give him the world if I could.
So very tenderly, the Lord said to me as I poured my heart out, “This that you feel right now; I feel this way about every one of my children.”
I’ve never known this about the Lord. Sure, I’ve read the scriptures but for some reason, the God I struggle to know gets wrapped up in the worldly understanding that He is distant and iron-fisted, stern and commanding. To know that my Abba Daddy is tender-hearted and compassionate toward all that He has made is the most wonderful truth the Lord has revealed to me yet. It’s one thing to read it. Quite another to hear it from His lips. My fears dissolved and relief swept over me. The Lord’s heart is aware of his pain. He is aware of my pain. He is aware of your pain. And it tears His heart.
David reveals this truth in Psalm 145:13, “The Lord is faithful to all His promises and loving toward all He has made.” Toward all He has made. This mother-heart in me that hurts when my kids hurt cannot even compare to the love of God’s Father-heart toward His children. Jesus said in Matthew 7:11, “If you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who keep asking Him.” God is a good Father, not to be confused with the earth’s best in parenting. Because as good as we are, we still fail sometimes to do the best thing in relation to our kids. Our Heavenly Father, however, not bound by earth’s limitations or our limited understanding, is able to provide all that we need and gives these good gifts without showing partiality. All we have to do is ask. And He wants to! That’s the best part. His heart is attuned to our cry and simply waiting for us to ask Him. There is no need He cannot provide for, no emotion He does not understand and care about. He compassion toward us is deep and He loves us with an everlasting love, and draws us to Himself with unfailing kindness (Jeremiah 31:3). When we realize the inability of the world to offer solace, we are assured of His ability, and more than that, His willingness, to be all that we need. Loneliness? He is a friend that sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). Orphaned or widowed? According to Romans 8:15, you, dear orphan, have been adopted. And widowed woman, for you He has spoken Isaiah 54:5, “For the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, is your Husband.” The cry of a human heart is His call to action. He feels your pain in the depth of Himself, and He responds out of a sincere desire to stop that ache. Nothing can separate you from this Love (Romans 8:39).
Father, thank you for such wonderful truth. Thank you that you hold our hearts and are attentive to our cries. Thank you for caring for us so much. I love that I can come to you as a daughter comes to her Father, and that you respond to me as a Father who loves His daughter very much. I am blessed to know You.