Our son just went off to college for the first time. Needless to say, it has been a bittersweet time around our house. We miss having him around, but we are excited about this new chapter in his life and where he is headed.
In the midst of all the feelings and emotions, one thing is certain: we are for him.
We are for him when it comes to his academics, his relationships and his finances. We are for him when it comes to his future, his goals and his decisions. We are for him, no matter what. Our commitment is unconditional. It is unchanging.
So imagine what it would be like if God loved us that way… According to scripture, he already does, and so much greater. Jesus said:
“What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
— Luke 11:11–13
In other words, even though we are broken, fallen people, we still know what it means to give good gifts to our children. But notice that God doesn’t just give good gifts to his children — he gives us himself in the person of the Holy Spirit. Not only did God send Jesus to die for us to show that he is for us (Romans 8:31–32), but he also gave us his living Spirit to be with us and in us.
When God says he is for us, these are not empty words. The reality of these words cost the Son of God his life, and they are daily confirmed by the presence God’s Spirit in our lives. (See 2 Corinthians 1:21–22) When God said, “I am for you!”, He said it in the most emphatic way possible.
So, as much as I am for my son, I can’t help but marvel and reflect on the God who is for both of us in a way that we will never fully grasp this side of heaven. When it comes to being for someone, God is the ultimate example and the one we should emulate each and every day through the power of his Spirit inside of us.
When someone like that is for you, how could we respond any other way?