Parking in Sarasota, Florida is outrageous at this time of year. It helps me to be more patient when I remind myself that I am a part of the problem.
Depending on the time of day, I can feasibly circle the lot at the beach, mall or restaurant for fifteen minutes waiting for someone to leave and grab the vacated parking space before someone else. It can be quite a mess.
I admit, I pray for parking. I don’t pray for the closest spot or the shadiest spot or the most convenient spot. I just pray for any spot. I am grateful when I find one. But sometimes I don’t.
Do I feel “loved” when I find one? Is God’s love for me predicated on a parking space? I cannot begin to recount the number of times I have heard someone say, “God is so loving! He gave us this great parking spot!” Or “God loves us. Look how sunny it is today!”
Is God a genie in a bottle? What about when I don’t find parking or it rains all day? Is God not loving then? Is he not good? Or even more importantly, what if the break through I am praying for doesn’t come? What if waiting for healing takes weeks, months or years?
When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.Romans 5:6-11
Paul’s words highlight a completely different picture of God’s love for us. It is undeserved and predicated on Jesus’ death. There is no guarantee parking will open up or that the sun will shine or that the break through will be here tomorrow. But we can be guaranteed that we are deeply loved by a Father who initiated the greatest act of love. And he did it before we deserved it.
Remember…Jesus loves you!