Well, it’s official: I’m a Florida resident again. We moved last weekend, and we’re both still recovering from the total chaos and exhaustion. My office is closed today, so I’m enjoying a day at home to put things in order. I can’t tell you how glad I am about that! When the nest is a mess, I can’t rest. 🙂
Paul and I are so very thankful that the move part is over. God graciously provided excellent weather (sunny and cool), and Paul’s son and three of his friends went above and beyond in heavy lifting and cheerful dispositions. As I shared on instagram, I walked about 9 miles inside my house on Saturday. I’m covered in bruises, and my hands and nails will take a while to recover from cleaning two houses.
But we’re in, even if we’re still digging out.
I’m still working in Thomasville (in a couple of months, I’ll begin working two days here in Tallahassee), so I have the best of both worlds. I’m looking forward to getting to know Tallahassee better, and Paul and I already have a list of restaurants we want to try.
So this Good Friday finds me very grateful — grateful for God’s lavish provision for me. He’s surrounded me with His people and shows me His loving care daily in countless ways, large and small. For me to ever utter a complaint shows me just how desperately my heart needs a Savior, and He has provided!
The gospel truly reveals the deepest heartbeat of God towards us. Jesus’ work did not — nor did it need to — persuade an angry Father to love his wayward children. The atonement is not a form of inner-trinitarian blackmail. No: the Father loved us and did not spare his own Son for our salvation (Rom. 8:32); the Son loved us and ‘did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped…’ (Phil 2:6); the Spirit loved us (Rom. 15:30) and is not ashamed to indwell and sanctify us.
Why should it be so important for Paul to emphasize this? Because we can misinterpret ‘the gospel’ message to mean that God loved us because Christ died for us, as if the sheer amount of suffering he experienced made the Father relent of his hatred towards us and now begin to love us and be kind to us.
Our spiritual forefathers used to speak about the way Christians ‘live below the level of their privileges’. This is a case in point. If only we would settle our hearts on what the apostle says here about the character of God! Think about these three statements – they merit a lifetime of meditation:
1. God is rich in mercy.
2. God has loved us with great love.
3. God has shown kindness to us which expresses the immeasurable (the word is the root of our word ‘hyperbole’) riches of his grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus.