It isn’t about a smile; it’s about what is inside of your smile.
- Julia Roberts
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
Be honest. Do you have a picture of your adorable dog or cute kitty in your wallet or possibly on your phone?
Did you put your pretty pooch’s or fierce feline’s photo on your holiday cards last year? Do you find yourself telling funny stories about your doggie or cat? That’s just how proud parents behave. We can’t help ourselves, can we?
I’m guilty of this. I often post pictures of Mollie Mae, our adorable, chubby dachshund, on Facebook. I love to share funny stories about her antics, and I gravitate toward all things dachshund. I also love to buy presents for Mollie. Just last week I bought her a new blinged-out collar–purple with rhinestones. She looks so cute in it, and she knows it!
Bottom line, we love to dote on our kids–even the canine and feline ones. Well, guess what? That’s exactly how God is. He is a doting parent, too. If he had a “Daddy’s Brag Book,” our pictures would be in it! And just like I couldn’t wait to buy Mollie Mae a new blinged-out collar, God loves to give his children good gifts. The Bible says, “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13).
So many people fail to realize that God truly loves them. It doesn’t matter where you came from or what you’ve done, God loves you! My friend Victoria Osteen often says, “God isn’t mad at you. He is madly in love with you.” That’s good, isn’t it? In fact, God adores us–flaws and all. He loves us when we behave badly. He loves us when we disobey him. He loves us even when we don’t love ourselves. God loves us no matter what.
I’m so thankful that God’s love for me isn’t performance-based, much like my love for Mollie Mae isn’t based on her ability (or lack of ability) to shake paw or roll over on command. We don’t love our dogs because they are the smartest or the cutest or the bravest. We don’t love our pets because they do great feats on our behalf. We love them simply because they are ours. I’m so thankful that my heavenly Father loves me with an unconditional love simply because I belong to Him; aren’t you?
Take time today and thank God for loving you with an unconditional love. Pray, Father, I just want to praise you right now for loving me the way that you do. I am so thankful that I belong to you. Amen. Meditate on the vastness of God’s love for you today, and let him know just how much you love him. And while you’re at it, give your pets some extra TLC today, as well.
Michelle Medlock Adams is an award-winning journalist and best-selling author, with more than 60 books and 1,000 articles for newspapers and magazines to her name. She was won several SELAH Awards (best children’s book and book of the year for God Knows You in 2014 and best children’s book for My Big Book of Prayers in 2012), and her book Divine Stories of the Yahweh Sisterhood was named a Family Christian Bookstores Premiere Pick in 2006. When not working on her own assignments, Michelle ghostwrites books for celebrities and some of today’s most effective and popular ministers.
Michelle is married to her high school sweetheart, Jeff. They have two college-aged daughters, Abby and Allyson, as well as a small petting zoo. When not writing or teaching writing, Michelle enjoys cheering on the Indiana University Men’s Basketball team, the Chicago Cubbies and the LA Kings. Find out more about Michelle at her website.