“He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me” Psalm 19:18
348 is a pretty big number. What would you like to have 348 of? I’d like 348 vacation days, cups of coffee and slices of carrots cake! I wouldn’t like 348 flat tires, papers to grade or dirty dishes to wash. 348 smiles from sweet baby Lewis would never be enough and 348 family suppers would be far too few. One thing I know for sure, if someone told me the same thing over and over 348 times, I think it would be pretty important and I’d pay attention.
In Scripture, God tells us of his love for us 348 times and yet we still don’t always believe it. We still often focus on what the world thinks and which earthly people love us more than we recall the 348 times the Father proclaims his love for us. We still often mope and pout, feeling like we’re alone and lost and unlovable so maybe today is the day we need to be reminded just how much we are loved.
We sometimes get tangled up in the notion that the Father loves us but he probably doesn’t always like us. We might be tempted to believe that he doesn’t like us when we sin or when we gossip or doubt or stretch the truth a little to make things sound a little better. We might be tempted to think he doesn’t like us so much when we waste our prayer time scrolling through social media and we may entertain the notion that he would like us more if we spent less time shopping on Amazon and more time praying or reading about the 348 times he says “I love you” in scripture. Honestly, that’s human thinking and it couldn’t be further from the truth! See, God not only loves us, he likes us, he wants us and he DELIGHTS in us. How’s that for a message, he delights in us!
God is constantly inviting us to grow in holiness…to grow closer to him. Please don’t confuse that with the notion that God will love you more when you reach some potential you establish for yourself. God created you with magnificent love before even your mother knew you existed and he has never stopped delighting in you since that very first moment. We have visions and plans and goals for ourselves and God’s love has nothing to do whether we check those things off our list. I watch my grandson with such wonder, awe and absolute delight. I notice every teeny little new thing he does and my heart just about bursts. I have visions of the kind of little boy, young man and grown gentleman he will become but I’m not going to love him more then…I’m not going to reserve my love and my delight for when he’s all grown up and has “become” something the world thinks is valuable and important. I’m going to get busy loving him and delighting in him every single step of the way. And that’s exactly the same way God loves us…he delights in us today, tomorrow, next week and he loves us all throughout our “becoming”.
If we could even begin to fathom the Fathers love for us, even the really bad days would be beautiful. Remind yourself today of the message given to you 348 times and then spend some time loving yourself too.
A Seed To Plant: Make a list of things you like about yourself, thank God for those things and then find a couple of those 348 places God spoke his love for you and jot them down so they can sink in.
Blessings on your day!
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