When I first became a mom, no one could have ever prepared me for the journey ahead. Their well-meaning advice and ‘words of wisdom’ weren’t enough to prepare me for the emotions that were going to flood over me in the first few seconds I received each one of our four sons into my arms. Despite how much I had prepared for those moments, I had no idea the amount of love that would rush out of my heart into that small life.
I immediately felt an innate need to feed, clothe, and teach that small child anything that might ensure he had a life that was well-lived and blessed. No one had to tell me to give my children these necessities. They effortlessly poured from my heart without a thought or decision. That’s what natural, pure love does – it gushes forth colliding and bonding life to life – life for life.
Years later, as our sons would begin leaving our home, I would be caught unprepared once again with a new facet of love – separation. What was the purpose? Why would we grow so close to this life that had been entrusted to us only to be forced to let them go and release them back to God? I had seen this before and had even experienced the other side of this kind of separation as I left home years ago. But the sweet hand which I had grown accustomed to holding was now gone. It had been separated from my side…
Was this the same sting that God felt as He knowingly chose for His Son to be temporarily separated from Him? It bewilders me – how does a Father make this kind of devastating decision? There has to be something incredibly special that would drive a Father to this kind of ‘kiss good-bye’. There is no better explanation than the one given to us by the author John in God’s Word. In John 3:16, he simply records that God’s love for you and for me exceeded His love for His Son as He sacrificially demonstrated His GREAT love as He allowed Himself to be separated from His Son, so that we might have a life that could be reborn and never have to experience this kind of separation again.