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No Matter What

There I was in the hospital room, that icey Arkansas December 2000.  The night before Robin and I had our first child.  We didn’t let the doctors tell us if the baby was going to be a boy or a girl, but we already had the name picked out:  Israel Shava Jackson.

Dr. Timothy Bell allowed me to “catch” our first amazing child, so I exclaimed, “It’s a girl!” as a night filled with toil melted away into a mother’s “Oh, oh - I want to hold her.”  There had been a major ice storm the week before.  Thousands in our region were left without any utilities.  However, within just a couple of days of Israel’s birth, the roads had cleared up just enough for travel, and our electricity came back on for the previous nights laboring at home.  Within 48 hours of us returning home with her, another ice storm hit, taking out more trees, making more roads impassable, and hurtling many families back into “life in the stone ages”.

So, there I was, the next morning in the hospital room.  Robin was sleeping, and they had just brought Israel back into the room for her second allowed visit out of the nursery.  I can vividly remember sitting in that chair, in front of that window, holding my first invitation into the Father Heart of God - and I began to cry.  It was one of those times where the tears came before any thoughts, or any words - but the words followed shortly thereafter, and made the crying increase.

“No matter what you do - ever - I will always love you.”

I honestly do not know how I was even saved, or how I’d even pretended to be a youth minister or spiritual parent to anyone prior to that moment.  Yeah, I felt like I had the “Father Heart” revelation - and had even had some really neat encounters where the Lord had used some scenarios to give me a real glimpse into that part of His love for us.  But, wow - seriously, I can’t even describe the depth of love - the wellspring of true agape that was uncapped in that one moment.

“No matter what you do - even if you never return any of my affections… I will always love you.”

Father, Daddy, God - I ask you to pour out any measure of this revelation, of Your heart, to the readers of this post, right now, in the name of Your Son.  Because any measure of such a deep thing is enough to soften harden hearts.  Please, Abba, let them feel Your unconditional heart for them, Your favorite child, in this very moment.

“No matter what you do - even if you reject me… I will always love you.”

It didn’t take any time of reflection for this thing to hit me with all of its truly spiritual force and signifigance.  It was an immediate download from my Daddy - His love for me has remained constant.  Even when I ran from Him… Even when I delighted in insulting and tearing-down His children… Even when I ignored Him and sought after my own pleasure… Even when my Mom died, and I felt His love, but decided to try and find peace in other places instead of falling into His arms… He showed me His love and affections, and I rejected Him.

“I will always love you.”

I felt the reality of “what if this little girl grows up and despises me - and wants nothing to do with me? What if she really rejects me?”  Words cannot explain the level of pain I experienced in that moment.  And I knew that this was the same pain that the Father had felt for me for so many years, and although things had gotten better (and I can even translate this into current circumstances), the rejection that He still feels when I continue to choose so many meaningless things over just spending time with Him.

Today I heard someone say something along the lines of, “When you choose to watch TV, even though you felt the prompting to just stop and spend time with the Lord - here is your real condition:  You are saying that the pleasures of God are inferior to the pleasures of the world.”  That’s really what it comes down to.  Imagine how that pains His heart.

But, sorry - I really felt the need to type this post as a encouragement into an encounter with the Most High Daddy.  But, I’m not going to take that back… I want to exhort you (”encourage into action”) to use your imagination (remember, your imagination is one of the parts of your being that Jesus made sure to cover with His choice of words when He said, “The first and greatest commandment is this: to love the Lord Your God with all of your heart, all of your soul, all of your mind, and all of your strength.”  I encourage you to use your imagination, and place yourself into that hospital room…. holding a tiny, tiny newborn baby wearing those white and blue striped little caps that all newborns seem to receive… staring at it’s red blotchy skin and tiny little lips… trying to get it’s delicate little fingers to wrap around your pinky… and say to it,

“No matter what you do - ever - I will always love you.”

Now imagine yourself in the place of the baby, looking up at your Abba, Father, God - even if your eyes can only see a few feet, and the light is just too new and bright for you… listen…

Listen…

Comments

Comment from Anthony Potts
Time: June 22, 2007, 8:53 am

Aaron,
Great post. I’ve been recently thinking about something along the same lines. We have hopes for our children. Things we would like to encourage them into achieving. Some parents (not passing judgment) even go so far as to select the actual path and destination of their child’s life. I get to thinking about this and how truly disappointed and sad I would become if the kids were less than what I had hoped for their lives. Even sadder when I think of all the degenerate professions that they could find themselves performing.
I can’t imagine how sad that my Father is seeing the course that my life as taken. While being a programmer isn’t (necessarily) the most degenerate of occupations, I wonder if this is what God really wants me to be doing.

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