John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
“So,” I asked, “what do you want for Mother’s Day?” I mean, it was a good question and a timely question. It was a question that I asked too many times the week before “the day.” It reached a point where anytime I started a sentence with the word “so” she gave me “the look.”
Mother’s Day, birthdays, anniversaries are all a little difficult when it comes to Judy. “Why” you ask? Well, one she is not a “gifty” person. Now “gifty” is not a word; I made it up. It means one who needs gifts. I am a “gifty” person. Second, she’s pretty content. She’s not really heavy into the stuff thing. She doesn’t particularly like or need jewelry, candy, or even pe-can pie. I know, it’s hard to believe!
Well, it was Saturday before “the day.” No matter how not “gifty” Judy is, I needed to do something. She deserved it and I didn’t want to go to jail. So, I decided to try one more time. “So, Judy,” I said, “what are we going to do about this Mother’s Day thing? It is tomorrow.” At first I thought I was going to get the look but instead she said, “I know what.” That worried me because she had a smile on her face. It was that “you should have quit while you were ahead smile.” She said, “You can dig up plants for me.”
“Dig up plants?” I muttered but it was too late. The deed was done. The deal sealed. I agreed and after stalling for a few minutes followed her out to the yard. She took me to a spot under a large crepe myrtle where some lilirope had taken over. So this was it. With a stiff upper lip I attacked those pesky, rooty plants and ripped them from the ground. “Teach you to grow, you, you, plant you” I muttered. It was a battle but one I eventually won. I thought I had won the day but I think the muttering under my breath kinda spoiled the deal.
To make up for the muttering we started tackling these killer rose bushes. They had some dead branches that needed to go. Now you need to understand these bushes had thorns on their thorns. Well, before long, blood was shed…and I muttered. I was pretty sure I was going to have to call the Red Cross for a unit of blood before we were done. I thought, “Surely this will win the prize. Game, set, match.” Nope, that stinking muttering under my breath about shedding blood spoiled things again. I think I ended up tired, bleeding and empty handed. I never should have muttered. Judy calls it “losing the blessing.” I call it a real dumb move.
So, I was sitting on the patio after the medics had bandaged my arm and gave me CPR (smile) and then it occurred to me. You know, this is what we do with God. We tell Him how much we love Him. We offer to do anything for Him. “Just speak the Word, Lord, and I will go and I will do.” So He speaks and then we stammer and then we mutter and then we lose the blessing. “Lord, what would you have me do?” we say. He mentions hard things like forgiving, loving, serving, giving, sharing. You know, all those “ing” ending words that feel a whole bunch like digging plants.
Well, if I would have pressed pause on the “mutter button” I would have remembered just how much Judy does for me. I would have remembered how much I really do love her. I would have remembered that while I don’t like digging plants I sure like seeing her smile. It’s the same with God. If you just hit the pause button you would remember all that God has done for us and does for us every single day. If you know Him, you gotta love Him. How could we not? How.could.we.not?
You see, God loves you to the moon and back. Two scriptures put a bow on the package. John 3:16 says God loved us enough to give His Son to a Roman cross. But wait, Romans 5:8 tells us that God showed His love by sending Jesus die on that cross without us having to get it together He just said “hey, come to Me…let’s get together.” How about that? Well, Judy and I ended up going on a great hike later in the day and had a really great time. We were amazed at His handiwork and I was amazed at how quickly she could forgive. I hope the next time she needs some plants dug, I’ll just hit pause on the “mutter button” and gladly start digging. Not because I love digging plants, not because I have too but because I love the one I’m digging for. And when we ask God what we can do for Him, whatever it is or whoever it involves let’s just get our shovels and get busy. Afterwards, we can take a break and rest in Him. He’s got this.