A Loving God

Trudy Maassen Vander Haar

READ : Ephesians 1:1-10

Living on the West Coast meant regular cross-country trips to relatives in the Midwest. Often we traveled through the desert at night to avoid the intense heat of the day. One might expect a dark dreary trip, but one trip was neither dark nor dreary. The little children were peacefully sleeping in the back of the station wagon. Up front, where the teenagers and adults were taking turns driving or “riding shotgun” (keeping the driver alert), God was providing us with a spectacular display. For many miles the skies were filled with heat lightning. What a beautiful sight in the darkness! I thought back to my childhood reactions to lightning. Frightened by it, I was not able to enjoy its beauty. What I had missed!

My experience with God was something like that. For a long time I thought of God with awe tinged with fear. My God was a God of judgment, looking down on me with a very critical eye. I had not learned the truth of Ephesians 1:5-8. You and I are the much-loved children of a loving God: a compassionate forgiving Parent who, in love, sent Jesus to die for us. The Holy Spirit living within us molds and shapes us with the greatest patience, tenderness and love. We see God’s beauty only as we gaze at God with trust and admiration rather than fear.


God of mercy, God of grace, we come before You this day, with gratitude and praise. In Jesus’ name. Amen.