Hi, Rob here. Several weeks ago we became the proud owners of 4 chickens. Well, okay, I was a reluctant owner, but the rest of the family were proud, especially my now 5 year old daughter Jasmine. Jaz loves her chickens so it was a very tough day on Friday when we noticed that one of them was missing. We looked around the neighbourhood, prayed and thought that she must have been stolen because there was no sign of her anywhere. Later that afternoon, Jaz told her Mum that she had said another prayer that Rosie the chicken would be found. Literally 5 minutes later Rosie was spotted by our neighbour and Jaz’s prayers were answered. It’s a cute story but it underlines a profound point; that we are personally loved by our Father in heaven. God expresses his love for us in ways that speak uniquely to us as individuals. He answers the cries and desires of our hearts; each of our hearts.
What I’m talking about is the day to day loving relationship that we have with Father, Son and Spirit. We know that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the ultimate expression of divine love for us, but every loving relationship also has very personal expressions. How I express love to my wife and children is different to how my friends do it. How I express love to Jaz is different to how I express it to Jake (my soon-to-be 7 year old son). He needs time and a shared activity. She needs cuddles and laughter. We all receive love in different ways. My wife, Kiley, bought me flowers once. It didn’t work so well, but speaking encouraging words to me in the midst of a very difficult week was priceless. In the same way, God speaks our love language. He connects with our hearts and our personalities, which he created anyway.
I’m not saying that God is like a Santa Claus or a Sugar-Daddy who indulges our every whim or fancy. Our Father’s goal is not to have selfish children! Instead, he simply gives us what our hearts and minds need to help us become the people that he wants us to be. For little Jaz, she is discovering that God is kind, that he listens and he can be trusted. Sometimes we need to discover that our actions have consequences and so discipline becomes the Father’s job. Other times though, we need to know that he’s there, that he cares and that he comforts. This is where he gets personal.
For one lady I know, God speaks to her through sparrows. When she needs comfort or reassurance, God sends her sparrows. How beautiful is that? Being hugged by a child, not just her own, is God’s way of hugging Kiley. For me, sun breaking through on a cloudy day normally always draws me closer to God. What about you? What is God’s personal expression of love for you? Maybe this is a whole new category for you and you’ve never thought about it. That’s ok. In the next few weeks why don’t you pay attention to the things that lift your heart up to God or provide deep comfort. Note them down and see if there’s a pattern there.
Like a good Father or Lover, God gives good gifts and very personal gifts. This is because he’s after our hearts. He made us each to receive his love in different ways and he delights in revealing the depth of his love to us. We see it at the cross, in an empty tomb, in the love of his people but we also see it in very personal, intimate ways that we may have overlooked. Ask him for eyes to see and enjoy his love for you this week.