April 26, 2016
For God So Loves Me
Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame (Song of Songs 8:6, NIV).
Friend to Friend
Shakespeare described jealousy as a "green-eyed monster." I once heard it called “the gangrene of the soul.” Jealousy is usually thought of as a negative trait we need to guard against. But with God, jealousy takes on a whole new meaning.
God is a jealous God.
The root idea in the Old Testament word jealous is to become intensely red, referring to the way our face changes color with rising emotion when something or someone very dear to us is threatened. Both the Old and New Testament words for jealousy are translated “zeal.”
In other words, being jealous and being zealous is basically the same thing in the Bible. God is zealous – eager about protecting what is precious to Him. It’s the kind of jealousy that compels God to relentlessly pursue each one of us, no matter how we try to evade Him with our indifferent attitude or our propensity for sin.
The jealousy of God is comparable to the jealous passion of a parent for their child. As a mother, I understand that kind of jealousy.
When our son was six weeks old, he developed a potentially serious medical condition. I panicked when the doctor told us to bring Jered to the hospital for tests. After an extensive exam, the doctor said, “Let’s get an IV in this little man and get him upstairs for X-rays.” Seeing the look on my face, our pediatrician assured us, “He’s going to be fine. We’ll take good care of him.” I appreciated his words of comfort, but they were not nearly enough for me.
Jered couldn’t eat in case they had to do surgery. Jered was all about eating. He screamed for food until he was hoarse. I cried along with him. I knew he was hungry, but I couldn’t feed him or make him understand why I couldn’t feed him.
The kind nurses reassured me that everything was going to be fine. I wanted proof! This was not just any baby they were dealing with. Jered was my baby!
I held Jered tightly as a wonderful nurse expertly and gently inserted Jered’s IV, quickly securing it with surgical tape. She then took a Styrofoam cup, cut it in half, and taped it over the needle so Jered couldn’t accidently kick it out. And he was indeed kicking at this point!
The nurse then left the room so I could try to calm Jered down. He was almost asleep when the door slammed open. An X-ray technician wheeled a gurney into the room and sharply ordered, “Let’s go!” He had no idea who he was dealing with. My husband did and quickly took charge, escorting the technician into the hallway to say, “We’ll carry our son to the X-ray floor, so we will not need that gurney until we get there.” The technician started to argue, but wisely reconsidered as his eyes met mine.
When we reached the X-ray unit, Dan gently pried Jered out of my arms, and laid him on the gurney. The technician said, “We’re really backed up today, so let’s make this quick!” He then jerked the gurney and the IV pole in opposite directions, yanking out the carefully inserted IV. As blood spurted out of my son’s leg, he began to scream in pain.
I don’t exactly remember what happened next, but Dan does. He said I scooped Jered up in my arms, stomped my foot so loudly that nurses came running as I growled at the offending young man. He glared back at me and said, “Lady, do you need to leave this unit?”
Dan said he quickly began calculating how he was going to raise my bail money when, out of the corner of his eye, he saw me approach the doomed technician, plant my finger in his chest and whisper through clenched teeth, “Listen carefully, young man. I know you have a job to do, but you need to understand something right now! This is my baby! I am not going anywhere! And you need to watch how you treat him!”
The young technician quickly apologized … and I stepped back.
Fortunately, Jered did not have to have surgery. Thankfully, we headed home instead of to jail. I was and still am a jealous parent who is passionate and zealous about her children.
Don’t doubt for a minute that God is jealous for you.
He is standing right beside you, wrapping His arms of love around your wounded heart.
Listen closely as He declares that you are His child.
You belong to Him, and He is not going anywhere!
Thank You, Lord, for loving me like no one has ever loved me. I don’t understand that kind of jealousy, but I accept it and celebrate Your love today.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Spend time with God today, reading and meditating on John 3:16:
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.
Record this verse in your journal. Circle the action words. What do they mean to you?
More from the Girlfriends
The love of God is like no other love. Mary’s MP3 download, Love That Never Fails, is a powerful message that will help you understand and celebrate God’s amazing love.
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Originally published Tuesday, 26 April 2016.