Comfort in the Chaos: Amber Vaughan

October 27, 2015

Life in pro sports can often feel chaotic. There are so many variables that are out of your control. Injuries, performance, getting traded. Add on top of that normal life stresses that come with marriage, children, finances, and relationships and it’s clear that a rock of comfort is much needed. We hope you are encouraged by Amber Vaughan’s wisdom in this short video of where she finds comfort in the chaos.

 

The Compassionate Mother Love of God

1 John 4:10 (NIV): This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Have you ever wept over a story of unexpected, over-the-top generosity? The more undeserving the recipient, the more earth shattering and powerful the story. Perhaps my favorite story of this kind is the scene in Les Misarables when the priest surprises Jean Valjean with exceedingly unmerited generosity. This single act forever changes the course of Jean Valjean’s life, and many other lives as well. Take a moment to watch this scene.

Perhaps the best part of these generosity stories is the response that is elicited from the recipient. When the recipient is moved to tears, that’s when my tears begin to flow. Not only are the recipients surprised by such love, but they are deeply moved by it. Imagine a story where the recipient’s response was casual and thankless. I highly doubt that video would go viral! The response of humbled and overwhelmed gratitude is what makes these stories so touching.

In a similar vein, love for God is naturally elicited when we live in and experience His love for us first. As the verse in 1 John 4:10 states, God loved us first, and this order is important. We cannot love God until we have first received and experienced His love for us.

Perhaps the greatest truth that helps me to live in God’s love and love Him more wholly?

When I understand God’s heart of compassion, which is like a tender mother:

This might sound strange at first, but let me explain. A few years ago, I was taking a seminary course, and we were studying through Exodus. In Exodus 34, God declares His attributes to Moses, the very first of which is “compassionate.” My teacher taught us that the Greek word used for compassionate connotes a breastfeeding mother. I had just recently had my second child, and I remember pausing the video in my living room and bawling my eyes out. My view of God was rocked! This was the very first image God wanted to use to explain himself to Moses?! I was overwhelmed by the fact that my fierce desire to protect, love, and care for my children was simply a drop in the bucket and a dim shadow of the heart God has for me. If God’s love is like a good momma’s heart, far more perfectly loving than my own, then that is a love something fierce.

Another example in Scripture using the analogy of a mother’s heart is Matthew 23:37 where Jesus weeps over Jerusalem as His crucifixion draws near. He says: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem…how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.”  I think of the pain of a mother (and father) over a rebellious son (or daughter) as she watches him make bad choices and pierce himself with much sorrow. How painful that is! When the Bible talks about God’s anger and wrath against sin, I believe He feels that primarily as a parent who hates a deadly cancer in their child—not as an angry dad who delights in nailing his child.

Do not get me wrong, God is holy and righteous, committed to disciplining His people and punishing all sin. But there is a difference between One who cannot wait to punish and delights in punishing versus One who is longsuffering, who moves heaven and earth to pay for our sin with His own life, who empowers His people to repent, and who eagerly desires to extend mercy and forgiveness so that He does not have to punish us for our sin. It is his kindness that is intended to lead us to repentance after all (Romans 2:4). I think I used to subconsciously picture God as the former rather than the latter.

I understand a mother image might evoke pain for some of you. Perhaps your own mother did not outwardly mirror God’s heart of compassion and tenderness toward you. Let Isaiah 49:15 minister to you and remind you that God is perfect in the ways our parents have fallen short:

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands”

I pray the truth of God’s compassionate love toward you will bless you abundantly today!

We would love to hear any comments you have, and please feel free to share anything that helps you to live in and experience God’s love for you more fully!