1 John 3:1 “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
Now we are children of God. We won’t appreciate what that means unless we take a few moments to consider it for ourselves. First of all, the word “child” used in the Greek suggests an endearing relationship we have with God. Little children have some sort of direct line to grown-up hearts. When they are playful and happy their cheer tends to spread to us and give us pleasure. When they are threatened, we become very protective. When they are sick or in pain we are moved to compassion in an extraordinarily powerful way. How many times haven’t you seen pictures of adults suffering through some famine in some part of the world, and you were concerned? But then you saw the skinny little children with distended stomachs, and it next to breaks your heart!
We are God’s children. As such God has a special heart of concern for you and me. Your plight on earth moves him to deep compassion. David reminds us in Psalm 103, “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children.”
Those are beautiful words, and they’re not just empty sentiments. When God actually came and lived with us on earth, what do we find? When the man with leprosy comes to Jesus to be healed in Mark 1, Jesus is filled with compassion, and he heals him. When Jesus sees the crowds who have no spiritual guidance, no good shepherds, in Matthew 9, he has compassion on them. Then he prays for workers and he sends them his disciples.
When you are overwhelmed by anxiety as you stand next to your child’s hospital bed, as you stare at bills you don’t know how to pay, as you wait for test results from your doctor, as news of your spouse’s unfaithfulness knocks the wind out of you, as you fret about your children’s wandering ways, or as you grapple with the smothering loneliness that fills your life, you can be sure that help is on its way. You are the children of God, and your heavenly Father lavishes his love on you.