“He loves me, he loves me not.” I plucked the white daisy petals, deciding the outcome of my childhood crush.
Daisy Petal Hope
Years later during a Sunday church service, daisies on my dress stirred those memories as I waited for my pastor-husband Mike to call me to the platform. He’d asked me to share the long journey of praying for my father to come to Christ. First we watched the Billy Graham video Hope for America—a Message of the Cross.
While I waited for my cue, the white-and-yellow daisies on a background of black seemed to blossom on my dress. The Lord put an image in my heart of plucking flower petals, representing a young girl’s hope for love. The image conveyed a message.Hope comes from the kind of love that goes to the cross. #hope #love Click To Tweet
As a young girl, I longed for love—especially from a father. But my father left for several years. Starting in childhood we form beliefs about love. Beliefs about God often shape what we think about love.
There may be unbelief in God’s existence. Or we may believe there’s a God but form wrong thoughts about His character in these three ways.
- God is a cosmic cop watching our every move, ready to bust us for every wrong turn and slap us with justice.
- God is a disciplinary father-figure punishing us for poor choices with stern consequences.
- God is like our earthly father who abandoned us physically or emotionally—perhaps both. We cannot count on him.
You see, abandonment confused my notions on love. And I wasn’t sure what I thought about God. When my dad came back, I spent every other weekend with him. A self-proclaimed atheist, he often said, “People think there is a God, but there isn’t.”
But my mother introduced me to truths about God, and we attended a small-town church in Virginia. At sixteen, when I came to Christ, I started praying for my father to not only believe in God but to accept Christ as Lord.
Though I prayed fervently, I still found it hard to visualize my father coming to Christ. He seemed so hard-hearted…so unreachable.
Sill, I knew Scripture confirmed “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13 NLT). And I knew “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 ESV).
But, when I prayed, inserting my father’s full name into these Scriptures, they became promises. Believable promises opening my faith eyes. “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1 NIV).
Finally, sixteen years later, my father accepted the message of the cross. He realized God existed—a God who loved him and wanted him.
He Loves Me
It’s been almost six years since my father passed away five days before Christmas. The holidays that year were bittersweet. My family would not be going to his home for our traditional Christmas night Mexican feast.
A lover of spicy food, he started the tradition knowing that by Christmas night, his kids and grandchildren were ready for a change from the usual holiday foods. Now, my father celebrated with a his own feast in heaven. A sweet image.
God is not the earthly pictures we paint. But, there is a God. He is love. Love originated with Him and from Him. He loves us.God's love is not conditional on anything we do or don’t do. #love Click To Tweet
And His love is not based on some whimsical hope of the last flower petal landing on “he loves me.”
Instead, there’s a message forever ingrained on my heart. The hope of true love is found in the cross.
Plucking petals from a flower, we can never say about God, “He loves me not.” It is always, “He loves me, He loves me. Jesus loves me, God, You love me, You love me, You love me, You love me!”
And He loves you!
Images courtesy of Adobe Spark.
© 2016 by Karen Friday, All rights reserved
November 3, 2016 at 9:45 am | Uncategorized