Gave Him Up for Us

Posted by June Li on

He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? Romans 8:32

My four-year-old daughter had slithered off her high chair onto the restaurant floor. I looked down and she was about to pick a noodle off the bottom of her shoe to put in her mouth. “Stop! Don’t put that in your mouth!” For some reason she was fascinated by this noodle—never mind that a bowl of perfectly good, clean noodles awaited her on the table, in which she had no interest. She just had to have this one stuck on her shoe. I grabbed her hand and pulled it away from the sole of her shoe, and she burst out into tears and cried, “Mommy, but I want it! … I feel like you don’t love me!” In exasperation I said, as I find myself saying often, “Can you just listen to mommy when she tells you something is bad for you? Why would I want to harm you?!”  

I was surprised at how quickly she jumped to the conclusion that I didn’t love her, just because I didn’t let her have something that she wanted. But then again, how often are we like that with God? My daughter had no idea how harmful, or just plain gross, it was to eat that noodle from the bottom of her shoe, but she was so enticed by it, to the point of ignoring the good thing in her bowl. 

This is the whisper of doubt that Eve heard from the serpent in the Garden of Eden, “Does God really love you? If He does, why won’t He let you eat the nice fruit? Poor you, maybe God doesn’t want you to be happy.” We see something we want that we don’t have, we pray for it, and when we don’t get it we start to question, does God love me? If He loved me, why would He withhold this good thing from me? How come other people have it and I don’t? This insidious lie lurks in every human heart, tempting us to doubt God’s love. 

When I am praying for something and I don’t seem to have it, and I rack my brain speculating why God should give it to me, I remind myself: this thing I want might be like the noodle on the bottom of my daughter’s shoe. In God’s eyes, it could actually be harmful to me at this point in my life, for reasons I do not yet understand—just like how my daughter doesn’t understand why she shouldn’t eat off the bottom of her shoe. I could explain with logic until I’m blue in the face, but she can only understand so much.

When I think of God’s infinite wisdom and my own limited understanding, I pick myself off the floor, get back on my chair and look at what’s already in my bowl. For the Bible tells me in Psalm 23: "You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies: you anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.” Indeed, my cup already runs over. 

Let us respond to God’s joyful sacrifice by:

  • Thanking Him for valuing us as very precious.
  • Asking Him to open our eyes and hearts to see and receive how much He loves us despite our circumstances that may tempt us to believe otherwise.

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