John 14:21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
I just read this verse this morning. The phrase, “will be loved by my Father” stood out to me. And the question, What does it mean to be loved by the Father?
I was staring off into space, thinking about this, and my phone gave me some kind of alert, and I glanced down at my phone and saw this Picture that I had taken and was using as my screensaver.
It was from a walk I got to take a couple weeks ago when we were visiting a state park. My husband watched the kids while I took a solo jaunt in the woods. It was a beautiful walk. The kind of scenery that spoke to my soul and gave me joy. Nothing overtly breath-taking, just beautiful woods and greenery and light filtering through the trees.
I looked at this picture and thought, this is what it means to be Loved by the Father. He created this beautiful world and then he arranged for me to be able to be out and about in it.
I smiled at this thought, and then looked up. My daughter was just standing by my chair. No reason. She was playing her Minecraft, and decided that standing by my chair was a good place to play. I looked at her beautiful pixie face, her dark hair pulled back into a messy bun that a model would envy, her eyes so bright and intelligent. And I thought, this is what it means to be loved by the Father, a houseful of amazingly sweet, intelligent, fun children.
A bit later, I was trying to deal with the mystery of why my washing machine was making noises and yet the power was turned off, and even when I tried to turn the power back on, it wouldn’t turn on, and yet the machine continued to make noises. I called my husband. Walked through some different steps over the phone with him, then when a large electric spark erupted while I was attempting to plug the machine back in, I just walked away from the whole thing. No laundry today. I’ll wait for you to get home and figure this out.
And I thought, this is what it means to be loved by the Father. He has given me a Godly, wonderful husband who loves me and who takes care of his family. (And fixes washing machines!)
I thought about the question some more…What does it mean to be Loved by the Father? I suddenly remembered last night. I was watching an online class on trauma and how it shapes children’s minds, and different strategies to help bring healing. One of the first steps they gave was, Understand Yourself and your Own trauma. And I realized, that’s exactly what God has been doing over the last several years. Putting me in a place where I can understand myself better. Understand my own history. And now, from that understanding he is putting me in a place where I can help others who need healing from their trauma.
And that is what it means to be loved by the Father. He not only blesses you, but then he gives you opportunities to take those blessings in order to bless others. Like one of my pastors likes to point out, in Genesis 12: 2-3, God blessed Abraham, so that he could bless others.
What does it mean to be loved by the Father?
I think it’s one of those questions that can be given a different answer every time you ask it. Tomorrow my list would look different. Yesterday, I would have told you that being loved by the Father was about living in community with others and the richness that brings to your life. The day before that I would have said that being loved by the Father was about his Amazing Grace no matter how much I mess up.
Today, I think I will end with Peace. It’s peace. Knowing that I am loved and taken care of. Knowing that all things are in his hands. Not striving. Just Peace.
I am loved by the Father.