Once we lived in a big old frame house on a rural highway, a dirt road running down the edge of the side yard to its north. Lucas at four was already a tree climber and the small chinaberry in that section of the lawn was a favorite. He could reach the lowest limb standing flat-footed on the ground, then swing his legs up to it to hang upside down, pull himself up to sit or even stand on that long sturdy branch.
One afternoon he was playing in the tree when a group of boys came walking down the dirt road. There were four of them, ninth or tenth grade teenagers, every one of them bigger and heavier than I. They must not have seen me among the sheets and towels as I hung out the last load of laundry. Surely they would have known better than to start teasing a small child with his mother present. Very quickly the name-calling and threatening turned into all four of them coming at my little guy with arms raised. What were they thinking?
I emerged from the folds of flapping laundry breathing fire and probably screaming like a banshee—my memory of the event is just a little foggy. I do remember that four young toughs wilted before my eyes, turned tail and ran. I grabbed my baby, ran up the back porch steps into the kitchen and sank into a chair, rocking him as the slam of the screen door echoed through the old house.
I was thoroughly shaken, not by the boys, but by my own actions. Where in the world had that come from? It came from God, the strength to overcome a timid nature and forget your own safety in order to protect your small, innocent child who is unable to protect himself. We all have that Mama Bear somewhere inside us. I doubt we could keep it hidden if we wanted to when the need for it arose.
God put that feeling in us, so surely it must be in Him. Yet somehow He managed to ignore it. His Son’s life was not only threatened, but taken in a horrible, painful way, and He managed somehow to stifle that strong, boiling emotion that rises out of you in an almost uncontrollable manner.
And do you know why? Because when Satan came after us, his adopted children, He didn’t stifle it, but instead gave free rein to the Mama Bear in Himself. He loved us so much He found a way to save us, even at an almost unbearable cost.
Think about that the next time you want to rail at God for the pain you think He has caused you. We caused Him much more pain and He loves us anyway.
Herein was the love of God manifested in us, that God has sent his only begotten Son into the world that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins, 1 John 4:9,10.