John 3:16 says, "For God SO LOVED the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him, shall not perish but have everlasting life."
This is one of the very first verses that I memorized as a child. I can even remember being about 6-7 at a neighborhood vacation bible school and practicing reciting that verse everyday until I had it memorized at the end of the week. I'm sure there was some extra motivation involved, probably promise of candy or something. But through the years, I've heard the verse, time and time again, shared it, heard messages on it, and after a while it almost become so familiar, it starts to lose a little bit of its meaning. Or maybe I never fully understood the verse to begin with...until now.
They say your life changes once you have children, and I can agree with that with a loud "Amen!". My life has changed in so many ways for the better in the last year. Sure, there are the "cons" to having children, your body is never the same, you are sleep deprived and your "shoe fund" is now a "diaper fund". But it's completely 100% worth it. Being a mother has been an absolute pure joy, it has been more rewarding and better than any job I have ever or will ever have. It has also changed the way I view God and my relationship with him.
When you are a child, or young adult, you tend to view Jesus as like a brother or friend and God as, God the Father and I think that's natural. We hear the verse John 3:16 and view it from the perspective of a child whose father takes care of them. And if we have (hopefully) grown up in loving homes, we perceive that as a natural inclination. We know our parents love us and would do anything for us.
However, once I had my daughter, my perspective of John 3:16 changed. I still understand the verse from a perspective of a child, as I am still one. But now, my eyes were opened to the verse from a perspective of a parent. The true meaning of the sacrifice that God made by giving his ONE and ONLY son for the whole world! All of humanity! And we all know there have been some great people in this world, and some not so great. Either way, we are all sinners. Not one person can say, I've never lied, or done at least one bad thing in our lives. So we are all separated from our Holy God from sin. This is a fact.
But could you even imagine giving up your own child for the sake of all humanity? (or perhaps your favorite person, if you don't have kids) I can't, no way! Because let's face it, most people don't deserve it, or even want it! I don't deserve it. I am an unworthy wretch! But God SO LOVED the world that he DID! The thought of that just makes me want to fall to my knees and cry, thank him and hug my baby all at the same time. In a way it puts in perspective for me how much God truly loves us. It's so much more than I can imagine. He was willing to give up what was most precious to him, so that we may have eternal life. All we have to do is believe that Jesus Christ is our Lord. He died and rose from the dead and now is seated at the right hand of God. We don't have to try and work our way into heaven. Let's be honest if that was the case, not one person would be in Heaven. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father, expect through him. (John 14:6).
So I thank you, Father, for doing what we cannot do, for your precious sacrifice of your son. I can't even imagine how hard that must have been, especially knowing that people would reject your gift, mock you and sin against you time and time again. I thank you that you show us what love truly means; that you loved us, and even while we were still sinners Christ died for us.