Abide in God's Love

RADICAL BLESSINGS: Read This When Your Stuff Is Flying Every Which Way

Abide in God’s Love: A 7-Day Bible Reading Challenge

Day 5 Readings: John 15:11, Psalm 51:1-19

Click here to read Psalm 51 at Biblegateway.com.

Elbows in the Frosting

Last night, my son Paul and I carefully prepared a set of cupcakes for him to take today to share with his class for his birthday. He could barely contain his excitement in sharing this treat.

We smoothed rich chocolate frosting onto fresh-from-the-oven cupcakes, adding just the right dash of sprinkles — plus a few hundred extra he could not resist pouring on top.

Today, I am walking with Paul the one block down to the school with his tray of treasured sweets. This morning has been difficult, as are most mornings. Paul faces many challenges. Born 15 weeks premature, he is one of those kids who tries so hard to get it right, and many times misses the mark.

My mother heart hurts for him, and he drives me totally crazy, in about equal measure.

I stand at the top of the hill and watch as Paul races toward the school building at the bottom. His hair is pointed in all directions. Maybe tomorrow will be the day we find time to comb it. His shirt is half tucked in and part way out. His backpack is coming unzipped, with homework papers about to slide to the ground at any moment.

As he runs with youthful enthusiasm, I see our large round tray of carefully prepared cupcakes tucked under his arm — his elbow smushed deep into the frosting. Oh, my son.

Being the careful, loving mother that I am, in that moment I so badly want to call out to him, “Paul, why didn’t you comb your hair?” and “Paul, get that backpack zipped! You are losing your homework!” and “Paul, GET YOUR ELBOWS OUT OF THE FROSTING!”

Yet Paul is already long gone, out of the range of my mothering calls.

I believe God has put his hand over my mouth in this moment, because as I stare into the empty spot where my son flew past, a deep realization strikes me —  heavy and hard.

I could not love my son any more that I already do, right in this very moment. I love him so very, very much. Not for what he gets right and not for what he gets wrong. I love him simply because of who he is. He is my son. I adopted him, and HE IS MINE.

This is how God loves you, and this is how God loves me.

Do you sometimes feel like you are running down the hill, papers flying, hair a mess, anxiously rushing to get to the next activity? You try so hard to get it right, but often miss the mark?

God loves you. He doesn’t love you more or less for any of that. He says, “You are mine. I have adopted you. I love you.”

For our mistakes, God offers complete forgiveness.


One of the many blessings of abiding in God’s love is full joy. We experience that joy because of the total forgiveness we receive in God’s grace.

Psalm 51 speaks to this forgiveness. Written by King David, David had messed up in his life big time — about as big time of a mess up as a person can humanly create. Murder, betrayal, an affair.

David would pay the consequences for his actions, yet he also felt God’s complete forgiveness. Consider what he writes in Psalm 51:11-12, “Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.”

Abiding in God’s love brings us the blessings of forgiveness, joy, and hope.

Even if sometimes, our elbows are in the frosting.

Abide in God's Love readings

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