In 2004 our dad had a blog called Gazebo Ministries. This is a post from that blog.
Yes, that’s how title is supposed to read. According to my 22 month old granddaughter Bethany, I’m Bapa, and I’m very happy with the name that she has bestowed on me. It carries a responsibility, and an honor, that only her other grandfather and I can share.
The other morning we were all visiting my son’s home and my daughter, Sharla, asked Bethany, “Do you love grandma and grandpa?”.
“Love Bapa”, she promptly replied.
“That’s the first time she ever said love!”, exclaimed her mother, Suzy
Well, you can imagine how I just humbly shook off the compliment, and tried to downplay the expression of admiration in a quiet unassuming manner – NOT! – Actually, I was delighted, and smug, and teased my wife about it to no end (my wife has learned to tolerate me with a minimal amount of disgust in these kind of circumstances). The pride I felt at that moment was completely out of proportion to what I would have ever imagined. It is amazing how a simple statement like that can improve your day 150%.
After my head returned to almost normal size, I had to reflect on the joy that her statement had caused me, and it made me start to wonder. The fact is, that as much as little Bethany may love me, God loves me more. This is a great truth, and in no way belittles my granddaughter’s expression of love for me, it just puts it in perspective.
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.
God’s grace truly is amazing. In spite of my sin and rebellion, God loved me enough to give His own son’s life so that I could have fellowship with Him for all eternity. Surely, there is no other love that can compare with that.
As Bethany matures, I sincerely hope that her love for me will continue to grow. Even though it can never be the same as God’s love, I value it very highly. However, the marvelous thing is, that because of God’s gracious love I am able to appreciate and love her, and all others, in the proper light.
No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
1 John 4:12
March 12, 2004