His Love Is Extravagant

It is the LORD who provides the sun to light the day and the moon and stars to light the night, and who stirs the sea into roaring waves. His name is the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.        Jeremiah 31:35 (NLT)

I hope you will take time today to read Jeremiah Chapter 31. It has a lot of ‘good stuff’. If you are going thru a tough time, it is a great chapter to read. God is speaking His heart to His children.

One of the most difficult years in my life was the year that my then 12-year-old son went through chemotherapy and radiation treatments for cancer. Prior to his diagnosis he had been a typical teen who loved baseball and playing drums. Even now, 10 years later, I can recall sitting next to his hospital bed in the middle of the night watching the medication drip into him; watching him waste away from a healthy 120+ lbs to about 80 lbs. As I have said so many times, it isn’t cancer that you battle – it’s fear.

It was in those years that the exile of the Israelites became very real to me. I felt like I was exiled from the safe and ‘normal’ life that I had known. I wondered if God had forgotten us. And then I would come across a passage like Jeremiah 31. It was God speaking to me. God’s Word is timeless.

Verse 15 is quoted in Matthew 2 as we are told about how Herod, in a rage, had every male child age 2 and under murdered as he tried to find and kill Jesus.

“A cry is heard in Ramah – deep anguish and bitter weeping.

Rachel weeps for her children, refusing to be comforted – for her children are gone.”

God knows my anguish and sees my weeping. He knows better than anyone the state of my heart and mind. He knows when my spirit is bruised and how to heal it. His Spirit speaks to my spirit. We can speak without the constraints of words. When I can not express in words what is in me – God knows.

Ten years later, I am here with a strong heart and spirit because my LORD did not abandon me. He who created light and is able to see in the darkest night just as if it was day is always with me. The key is to just call out to God when the dark rolls in. It is that simple. You may be calling out and not even realize it – until you hear His voice.

Late one night, a few weeks before he died, my son was channel surfing. He had already had one lung removed because of a football size tumor. He now had a baseball size tumor pressing on his heart. He said he was “so tired” and “I just wanted to take a breath without it hurting”. As he was clicking the remote, it stopped working. He kept clicking but it wouldn’t move the channel. There was a minister on the channel where it stopped who was just bowing his head to pray. Then he looked up and said, “There’s someone out there who has been having difficulty breathing. God has heard you and is sending you a fresh breath straight from Him!” My son said all of a sudden the constriction in his chest relaxed and he could breathe. He slept better that night than he had in months. Coincidence? You wouldn’t be able to convince my son or me of that! He was touched by the love of his Father. My son loved this next passage. It is about some other young men who were in exile. It is a wonderful response when you have received God’s extravagant love.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”         Daniel 3:16-18 (NLT, my emphasis)

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