Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Lavishing Love

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! 1 John 3:1

With little Calvin now in our home, things have changed a lot.

First, my schedule has to give way to my paternal duties. I have to wake up at 6am and prepare for Calvin's bath time. I have to iron his wrapping blanket, his drying garment, shirt, socks, gloves, bib, and brand new diaper. Then I have to prepare the bath tub with the right amount of warm water. This will take me an hour -- just right for his 7am bath time. Sometimes I went past seven because I have to get him cleaned first from his *miracle* in his diapers. Bath time usually takes 15 minutes max. No matter how time consuming my preparations are, it is richly rewarded. I am elated to see my son enjoying his warm morning bath.

After bath time, we try to get the most out of the available morning sunshine here in Baguio. You see, morning sunshine here is very rare. We are required by the doctor to sun bathe between 8am to 9am for 30 mins max. There are mornings that little Calvin has to skip this because of an overcast. And there are mornings we all lavish the strong sun warming our skin. Little things that I took for granted before, now I heavily thank the Lord. I really praise the Lord if the sun is up by 7:30 with clear skies.. it almost brings tears to my eyes -- seeing the golden rays announcing the coming of a new day. This is because I know the good that it does to my little son's fragile body. Sunlight dissolves bilirubin, a liver enzyme that becomes toxic when its concentration is too high. Newborn babies have this -- that's why they look yellowish in their first few days. Solution? Lots of sunshine! Isn't the Lord really Good? He knows how to take care of his little ones.

These are just the morning duties; a little sampling of what our day looks like.

Second, my wife and I have to adjust with our relationship. Now we are three in our home. We must continue to strengthen our relationship while not neglecting the maliit na tao in our house. We must always remember that we are committed to each other and let no one -- yes, even little Calvin -- interefere with that commitment.

Finally, we have a new financial entry in our budget. This is a welcome because, all little Calvin spends so far are his diapers. His first vaccination was shouldered by a ninang. The next ones, we hold it up in prayer.

With all these adjustments, I came to the realization of the real impact of the above quoted verse. I maybe skimming my bible when I read that in the past. For when I read it again with fresh eyes; I was really taken aback by the depth of this verse.

How great...
indescribable to the point that even these two words fail to grasp the profundity of what they're trying to describe. the love the Father... the whole point of the verse. God is our Father. And this Father is a loving person. The love he has is too profound to describe.

...has lavished on us... only twice did the word lavish appear in the New Testament; here and in Ephesians. This word denotes a generous patron who wants to give all. The word lavish also denotes abundance. That's the kind of love the Father wants to give -- in abundance. Not lacking but complete.

...that we should be called children of God! The apostle John cannot help himself but exclaim this truth! Yes! God has decided to adopt us through his son Jesus Christ. We are his children lavished with his love. This is the climax of this verse: Our adoption into God's Family.

When I look at little Calvin, I lavish him with my love. I really do. I'd do anything for him. I'll protect him; provide for him; pamper him... Then, I remembered the verse above... I can't help but cry as I realize the kind of love the Father lavishes on me. I know that what I feel for little Calvin cannot compare with the Father's love... and so, I cried some more. Oh Lord! What love is this!

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Exceeding Joy

Yes! Our son Calvin was born to us last December 31, 2004; the last day of the year. As our ninang said, "Calvin has chosen his own birthdate after all." My wife and I are exceedingly glad when he heard that first cry. The joy is indescribable.

In Romans 8, Paul said that even creation is groaning in awaiting the glorious return of the Lord. That day is a day of indescribable joy. Maybe I groaned, too, in eager expectation of seeing my son born into this world. However, all that groaning has been forgotten when I heard my son (which is a clone of myself) cry his head out. The joy that welled up within me is indeed indescribable. Now, I am much more excited about the return of Jesus. What joy would that be!

I believe that God has laid some natural occurences here on earth as previews of things to come. Childbirth is one of them. Jesus likened the end of the age to childbirth. Jesus said that his coming is precluded by several painful events. He compared this to a woman in labor. My wife can expound to you of her labor pains... I can just describe it to you. However, after we heard Calvin, we forgot all about the labor pain. We just bask at the joy of seeing him and remembering the time that we first saw him. Nine months of anticipation was well rewarded. I believe that there is similarity in the Second Coming of the Lord. We will forget (or shall not remember) all the tribulations and pain; and bask in his glorious presence.