Spiritual Life Development

God ‘bees good to us’

Matt & Meghan in Montclair, N.J., on Easter Sunday with (l–r): Keira, Ella, Whitney, Grace, and Olivia.

Matt & Meghan in Montclair, N.J., on Easter Sunday with (l–r): Keira, Ella, Whitney, Grace, and Olivia.

Thanking Him for Community

As a parent, I’m surprised at the things my kids pick up.

I had one of those “Where did you get that?” experiences recently when Grace, my five-year old, took my iPhone and started to make movies of herself. Amidst the videos of her showing off her toys and a game show that didn’t have any contestants and, frankly, any real rules that I could gather, Grace had a mini-sermon:

“God will love you forever.
Even though he died on the cross, but he’s alive.
He takes care of us and He’s always on your side.
He never forgets anyone.
He remembers you everyday.
He also be’s good to us.
And make sure God gets the best life.”

As her dad, this fills my heart. There are such great sentiments in her words and I love that this is her view of who God is. The very center of Grace’s view of God is love. Amen! (A quick aside, I think her last line, about God getting the best life, that’s our part. God deserves our best. Did SHE mean that? I’m not sure.) 

So here’s the thing, I’m not quite sure where she learned that. We are certainly a Christian household. But my wife, Meg, and I don’t walk around the house saying “God takes care of us and He’s always on your side.” Those specific phases…where did she get them? My best guess is one of her Sunday School teachers.

Back to that in a minute.

We’ve just passed Easter and one of the sermons I heard used John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” For some reason, this verse really jumped out at me this year. Yes, Jesus did it for us, but now we are to do the same for one another.

I’ve experienced others laying down their lives, putting aside themselves, for us in the last nine months. You see, besides Grace, we also have Ella (4 years old) and then 9 months ago we had triplets (Olivia, Keira and Whitney). That’s right…5 girls…pray for me. These last nine months have been a challenge and I’m not sure how anyone could have multiples, without a loving community around them, ready to lay down their lives.

I know, it sounds extreme, but I’ve seen it. I’ve seen the laying down in the two ladies that come and help Meg with the babies, EVERYDAY.   I’ve seen the laying down in the gifts for clothes and diapers (My God, the diapers!).   I’ve seen the laying down in the coordination and delivery of meals to our family. And I’ve also seen it in the Sunday School teachers who wants my oldest daughter to know just how much God loves her.

I thank God for my community. I thank them for the way they have laid their own lives down, to help us in ways we see every day and in ways that we don’t. Without community, I’m not sure where we’d be. There are just so many responsibilities and you get this sense you’re always forgetting something. But God provided a community that has seen us through.

Or as Grace would say, “He takes care of us and He is ALWAYS on your side!”

by Matt Hodgson

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