For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. - John 3:16
A local Christian station played a call-in message from a 13-year-old boy who lived on a ranch. The boy told the DJ he needed to share what God told him that morning. Surprised at the child's obvious wisdom, the DJ encouraged his story. The child had become attached to a calf from its birth. It had broken its back and the boy opted to put the animal down on his own. Tearfully, he related his loss to the Father saying, "Why does it hurt so bad when we loose someone?" His next remark brought the listening community to their knees. "God spoke to me and said, 'I know your loss. I know how it feels. I gave my only son to die for you.'"
Having worked for a veterinarian for 15 years, I have not only experienced the joys of individuals with new pets, but I have suffered their loss as well. I have sat in the floor of vet's office, while she put to rest the pain and suffering of my own animal - one that meant the world to me. I snuggled the sweet head of my Dalmatian and watched as his eyes pleaded for relief, yet at the same time they poured masses of forgiveness - something he sensed I would need. I suffered loss - painful, distressing loss, the kind that felt as though my heart would shred. All I could do was caress him, grasping to hold on to the unconditional love he'd faithfully given me for 13 years. Sobs -heart wrenching sobs, was all that offered me any relief.
There are times when we become so engrossed in our own loss, whether it's the loss of a friend, family member, a pet, or even a job that we cannot imagine that our Father in heaven suffered loss as well. More so, the loss He felt was an intentional loss - a sacrifice made purely for our benefit. He stood from the heavens and watched as His one and only Son was beaten and battered, broken and torn. Our natural instinct is to reach to provide protection for our children when they are hurting, and so it was for God. Still He had to step back and endure the agony of watching His Son die, and not being able to help. Imagine having the power of creation in one fingertip and resisting the insurmountable desire to save His child the pain.
The Father knows the experience of loss. His heart felt the effects as His Son bled and died. What an unconditional love. What an amazing sacrifice. The next time that loss hits home, mourn and grieve, but remember that God grieves having made the ultimate sacrifice for us. He is a glorious and almighty Father, isn't He?
When I walked with God this morning I said to Him, "Wow. You love me that much, heh?"
"More that you can imagine. More than you can conceive. More, more, more."
"That's a lot, Father."
"Thank you for noticing. It's because you are everything to me." He bumped my shoulder with His and I stumbled slightly. Amazingly enough, being who God is, His hand steadied me -- never letting me fall.