Children often ask for things that are not even remotely attainable. Their eyes don’t count the cost. They see only the object of their dreams and they dream big.
I was one of those little kids who wanted a pony. I had no idea how much they cost, or how we would provide shelter and food for the animal. I just loved horses and thought a pony would be a dream come true. A Palomino. Perhaps I was influenced by seeing the horses my uncle had on his farm in Allegan, Michigan. Naturally my parents explained more than once how we could not afford a pony or horse, and this was not going to happen. They were soft and kind about it, so my dream was not crushed.
But then Dad did something remarkable. He made a stall in the back of our garage and bought us a donkey. Now is that love or what? “Jack” came to live with us, a surprise to myself, older brother and younger sister. He was a beautiful creature with a darling face and gray toned coat. Gentle, for I did not witness him balking. But then I was only about seven. Dad would put two of us on his back and tether Jack, walk us around by turns. It was dreamy. I loved Jack.
The fun rides we took were short lived. My brother was supposed to feed him and muck out the stall. If I had been older and capable of understanding the work Jack required, I think I would have helped more. I have no recollection of either Michael or Dad caring for Jack. All I knew were those rides.
When Dad saw that this task was not being well done, Jack was given away to a local farmer. Perhaps this was for the best. We lived on the western edge of Grand Rapids in the 1950’s—not an ideal place Jack. But I have not forgotten him, not only for the fun and joy he brought but for the sacrifice made to allow him into our lives. I realize now Jack was a token of God’s love, demonstrated through the hands of my parents.
What is in your childhood as a token of God’s love for you? If that is hard to bring up, what are some ways He’s showing His love to you lately? Let us count the ways He loves us—how long would our list be? Why not start one and see? We have all this and Heaven, too if we love Him back.
“…God put His love on the line for us by offering His Son in sacrificial death while we were still in our sins.” ~Romans 5:5