I seem to be on a roll with with the growing season and then I even wrote a post about corn last evening. I mentioned that Kristin, our oldest daughter, used to garden with me when she was very young – (only several years old) when we lived in Inverness, IL. We would go out and work together in the yard all summer long. From picking rhubarb to finding strawberries, she loved to work beside me for several hours at a time. Of course those days are long gone now – I don’t think she has the same passion today for the soil – or frankly, for working with me. But I have fond memories of picking beans and peas and all sorts of vegetables for several years when we lived in that home.
Sometimes, during our time together in the garden, I would ask Kristin how much she loved me. Then I would space my arms apart and say, “This much?” And Kristin would respond, “I love you a bushel and a peck… and a hug around the neck!” Then she would run over and give me a huge hug. I can still see her bright smile as we played in the garden. Eventually, Jill played the same game with me and, of course, both girls would ask me how much I loved them – it became a very important part of our time together. I am sure than Andrew would have played along with us as well, but most of this happened before he was even born.
But those years are long gone. It’s difficult to believe that Janet and I have children that are all in their thirties and it seems like just yesterday that Kristin was excited to be picking beans. But I don’t know that I have ever felt so loved as when our little girls ran to me and threw their arms around my neck. I still yearn for those days. Anyway, the way the kids loved us, and the way we love them are nothing compared to the way that God loves us. He wants us to be in community with one another and to share the love among all of us. The verse for tonight is from 1 John 4:11, “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
My encouragement this evening is that you are loved more than you can possibly imagine. My prayer is that God’s love for you may shine bright and that others may come to know the Lord based on how well you love them! Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…