Especially Then


Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are.

I John 3:1


I will never forget his smile. At least, I hope I never forget his smile. Or the words he spoke or the way he spoke them. Simple words, all he said was “especially then.”  He was ringing up my purchase at the hydroponic store and we got to talking about our kids. He has three. I have four. We talked about annoying behavior as well as not so annoying behavior.

I made a comment about how obvious it was that he adored his kids and how I hoped he would treasure every moment with them. He said he did and I added, even the annoying moments?

Here’s where the smile came in. He answered back, “especially then.”

His words weren’t spoken in humor. They were said with grace and his genuine smile verified the truth of his words. I haven’t been able to quit thinking about his smile and the gentleness with which he spoke those words.

How blessed are those kids to grow up with that kind of understanding and acceptance. Having a father who adores them and can adore them even more when their behavior is less than desired and to be the recipient of that kind of grace and loving smile. How blessed indeed!

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When I read this, I can’t help but think that when God, our Father, looks at us, even in our most annoying, most undesirable, most reprehensible moments, that He sees us the way that father sees his three children -with eyes and a smile that radiate grace, understanding, warmth, love, forgiveness and acceptance. Not because we are so lovable, but because the price for our annoying, undesirable and reprehensible behavior was paid for, the debt for them has been removed and even the memory of them has been removed from God’s mind. WOW! Can we get our brain around that?

If you could picture the smile God would smile when He looked at Jesus, you would see the smile He has for you as well, one filled with love and acceptance. One that can honestly convey that even in our bad moments, He love us. He loves us. AMAZING!

I can’t help but believe you prepared that moment for me when that man smiled and spoke those words about his children. They have blessed me and filtered through my thinking so many times since. I want to get my brain around the fact that You have that kind of smile for me and those kinds of words for me, but it is so incomprehensible to me to consider myself loved like that. Would You help me with that? Help me to receive the love You have for me, to trust in that love and to rest in that love, I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

I would love to hear from you. Please let me know if I can be praying for you as well.

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