Psalm 103:11-13 (NLT)
11 For his unfailing love toward those who fear him
is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
12 He has removed our sins as far from us
as the east is from the west.
13 The Lord is like a father to his children.
When I read this passage of scripture, it stirs my heart as a father. I can’t help it. Describing unfailing love as great as the height of the heavens is a bold and epic picture of love. I think any parent can relate to this – especially fathers.
This passage reminds me of one of my favorite children books to read to my son – “Guess How Much I Love You.” We’ve read it countless times. In this short book, father and son trade off phrases of love for one another, each building on the one before.
“Guess how much I love you…?”
“I love you this much…”
“But I love you THIS much…”
“I love you right up to the moon.”
“I love you right up to the moon…and back”
Each night when I go to tuck my son in to bed and say “goodnight”, I try to get him to look me in the eyes and I tell him – “You’re my son. I am proud of you and I will always love you.”
Of course, first I want him to know my love for him, but if I am being honest, I think that deep down maybe I also utter this phrase to fulfill a longing in my heart from when I was growing up.
As you might imagine, trying to get a three-year-old to look you in the eyes at bedtime can sometimes be an uphill battle. Sometimes he goofs and squirms and moves his head around in a silly way. When it is late and he is overtired, I am usually trying to match his eyes with mine to get him to know and understand that I see him, I am proud of him and I will always love him.
But one night recently, he did something that just hit me like a ton of bricks. He was moving and squirming like normal, and I started to say, “I am proud of you.” He stopped his moving, turned his head to me, looked me square in the eyes, smiled and said, “thank you.”
The next day, in my time with the Lord as I was meditating on Psalm 103, He revealed to me as clear as day that no matter what natural longing in my heart I may be hoping to fulfill or compensate for with my son – the Lord has been right here, the entire time, trying to match His eyes with mine, so that I would stop, know and understand…
…Understand that He sees me.
…Understand that He is proud of me.
…Understand that He will always love me.
I may have been seeking for a natural, physical longing to be fulfilled. But my Heavenly Father has been here all along, telling me how proud of me He is, telling me how much he loves me.