God watches over loved ones

By Joan Clayton: PNT columnist

Remember the day you enclosed your tiny baby’s hand in yours? Remember holding that toddler’s hand when he or she took the first steps? Remember the first day of school when you had to let go? Remember that teenager driving for the first time?

My tears fell on Lance’s feet as he held me in his arms and whispered, “Mom, a Christian never says goodbye for the last time.”

Memories flashed as my husband and I boarded the plane to get back home. We don’t get to visit Lance and his family often, so a one-hour flight is better than a seven-hour drive.

The 30-minute drive to the airport from Lance’s hone is always a 30-minute goodbye for me. By the time we reach the airport, I am emotionally drained. When will I quit crying while saying goodbye to those I love?

Those tiny baby’s hands I used to hold are now Lance’s big, strong hands. Wasn’t it yesterday that I held his little hand while he learned to walk? Now his hand holds my little hand as we walk into the airport. His hands carry our luggage and his hands lead us to the security line where we hugged one more time.

I couldn’t cry then because the line moved too quickly … taking off boots … trays full of belts and purses. We finally passed through security after a long line.

I looked one more time … just one more time to wave goodbye. A long way past the security line, I saw Lance behind the chain, looking and watching to see that we safely headed the right way. He waved another long goodbye, and I cried.

Love is such a wonderful thing. You can love so much it hurts. That is what Jesus did. His love is stronger than anything. His love knows no end, and he had you and me in mind when he endured the agony for our salvation. He is the “Creator” of love, and he gave his life upon a cruel cross because he loves you and me.

God loves us even more than we love our children. His love knows no end. Think of the anguish, pain, shame and degradation he felt. He looked down the stream of time and knew his sacrifice had to be. Who can fathom this kind of love?

God’s love surpasses all understanding. It reaches to the highest highs and the deepest depths. What would this world be without love in it? “The mountains may disappear, and the hills may come to an end, but my love will never disappear; my promise of peace will not come to an end” (Isaiah 54:10 NCV).

A man from Galilee set me free. He paid a price to secure victory for my destiny. God’s love gives hope and reason to get up in the morning … a reason to go on even in the midst of trials.

As long as there are people, there’s a reason to live and to love. Love can heal the deepest hurts. Love brings peace in a sea of unrest. Love makes life precious. Take away love and you have taken away life.

I would rather have loved and been hurt than never to have known the ecstasy of love. I believe God sends roses with thorns so I would be reminded to never forget the pain and beauty of his sacrifice.

Lance lovingly watched over us. Jesus does that, too. “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him …” (2 Chronicles 16:9).

I know Jesus watches over those he loves.

Let him watch over you today.