God’s Enfolding Love
Yesterday as I was lying in the hammock my wife and daughter gave me for my birthday last year, I reflected on a passage from Julian of Norwich which I had just read on the love of God. I realized that I don’t just ponder the love of God very often. Earlier in the day, I had been reminded by Leighton Ford’s The Attentive Life to slow down and reflect on God, his Word, and his ways with us.
So, I thought about God’s love for a few minutes, and something new to me (though probably not to you) came to my mind.
Christians believe that God grants his pardoning love to us, forgiving all our sins by imputing them to Christ and transferring the righteousness of Christ to us (Romans 3:21-26; 5:6-11; etc.).
We also know that God’s love is transforming: As we consider what he has done for us, we are moved to imitate his kindness to others (John 13:34; Ephesians 5:1-12).
But what I saw yesterday is that God embraces us with an enfolding love. AS we trust in Christ, we enter into such a close relationship with him that the Bible says we are in some way in Christ (John 15:5; 17:21; Ephesians 1:3,4,6, etc.).
Now, since Jesus is in the “bosom” of the Father (John 1:18), indeed “in” the Father (John 17:17:21), and since we are spiritually alive in Christ, raised up with him, and in the heavenly places with him (Ephesians 2:5-6), we are also spiritually “in” the Father – that is, we are as close to him as we can be.
Consider this image: God the Father enjoys unbroken intimacy with God the Son through God the Holy Spirit. Those who fully trust in Christ are God’s beloved children also (Ephesians 5:1), and brought into this eternal loving relationship. God has, as it were, brought us into his divine embrace, surrounding us with his infinite love, enfolding us in the everlasting arms.
Stop for a moment, as I did yesterday, and imagine the rest, the comfort, the security, the peace of being thus enfolded in God’s gentle, powerful, and loving embrace.