His love endures forever
The cold weather we endured lately rustled up some old memories of Grandma’s kitchen and the smells that escaped into the whole house in the early morning hours. It might have been snowy and cold outside, but the oven full of baked goods warmed the kitchen to perfection. I think Grandma must have gotten out of bed about four in the morning most of her life because by seven she had more done than most folks do all day. Cookies on waxed paper would be cooling on the table in the closed-in back porch and a pie or two could be found sitting next to them.
She always baked with others in mind, and after a completed inspection of her finished products, the best were placed into Grandpa’s care to be delivered with love to the home of someone else. She always knew of someone in need of a little sympathy that only a fresh apple pie can express. Grandpa’s report of how he found things at the delivery point would inspire Grandma to extend her compassion with more baked goodies or a feeling of content that things are better and God will take it from there. Her kindness reached everybody in a quiet, subtle sort of way including the mailman and the trash man. Grandpa loved her dearly.
Six-year-old Brandon decided one Saturday morning to fix his parents pancakes. He found a big bowl and spoon, pulled a chair to the counter, opened the cupboard, and pulled out the heavy flour canister, spilling it on the floor. He scooped some of the flour into the bowl with his hands, mixed in most of a cup of milk and added some sugar, leaving a floury trail on the floor, which by now had a few tracks left by his kitten.
Brandon was covered with flour and getting frustrated. He wanted this to be something very good for Mom and Dad, but it was getting very bad. He didn’t know what to do next, whether to put it all into the oven or on the stove, (and he didn’t know how the stove worked)! Suddenly he saw his kitten licking from the bowl of mix and reached to push her away, knocking the egg carton to the floor. Frantically he tried to clean up this monumental mess but slipped on the eggs, getting his pajamas dirty. And just then he saw Dad standing at the door. Big crocodile tears welled up in Brandon’s eyes. All he wanted to do was something good, but he’d made a terrible mess. He was sure a scolding was coming, maybe even a smacking. But his father just watched him. Then, walking through the mess, he picked up his crying son, hugged him, and loved him, getting his own pajamas dirty in the process. True love has no boundaries.
[Psalm 107] That’s how God deals with us. We try to do something good in life, but sometimes it turns into a mess. Our marriage gets all sticky, or we insult a friend, or we can’t stand our job, or our health goes sour. Sometimes we just stand there in tears because we can’t think of anything else to do. That’s when God picks us up and loves us and forgives us, even though some of our mess gets all over Him.
[Ephesians 5:1-2; Galatians 6:1-10] In my memories, I find a great example of Christ-like living in my quiet selfless grandmother. I’ll bet she had her personal problems and defeats in life. I’ll also bet she looked to God for comfort and compassion. I live in the comfort that God loves me, cares for me, and is willing to forgive me of the selfish deeds in my life all because I try my best to live a Christ-like life. I am also comforted in that Paul, an apostle, even says he continues to “press on” in his pursuit for perfection, relying on God to carry him through (Philippians 3:12-4:1). His love endures forever (Psalm 136).
Thomas W. Bonham is an associate minister with the Floresville Church of Christ. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find his column on his blog at http://wilsoncountynews.com.
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