Love Extravagant

Last Spring, Teej introduced me to a children’s book called Consider Love by Sandra Boynton. The part that sticks with me is “There’s love that’s shallow, love that’s deep, love extravagant, and love… well, cheap.” That last was accompanied by a picture of a gorilla offering his love an empty banana peel. But before that was an elephant holding an uprooted apple tree. This picture reminds me that I want to have a “love extravagant” not a “love, well, cheap.”

Teej has the gift of giving. I saw that the first time I met her when she had filled an entire suitcase with gifts for the little girl she was visiting. I’ve seen it many times since when she has bought gifts for me or others.

She is not only generous with material gifts, but also gifts of time and service. I’ve had a busy and tiring couple of weeks (don’t get me wrong, it’s been a wonderful time, but packed full). Last night was my first chance in a while to relax and get some work done on my computer. So what did my lovely fiancée do? She made me dinner. I thought that was generous. But she didn’t stop there. She served me, and continued serving me, a meal in four courses while I worked. That was extravagant.

If Teej gives generously, how much more generous are the gifts of God. If Teej loves me with a love extravagant, how much more extravagant is the love of God.

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in Heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him?” – Jesus, in Matthew 7:9-11

“I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power… to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to Him Who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory…” Ephesians 3:17-21

When God created man and woman in the garden, that was generous. When they rebelled and He chose not to destroy them immediately, that was extravagant.

When Jesus came to Earth to teach us how to live, that was generous. When He bore the penalty our crimes deserved, that was extravagant.

When the Shepherd saves His sheep from Hell, that is generous. When He ushers them into Heaven, that is extravagant.

When the Spirit sanctifies us and teaches us how to live a life pleasing to Him, that’s generous. When He showers us with gifts in this life, that is extravagant.

When I was first seeking God, part of my prayer was that I would make a friend at church. That would’ve been generous. I’ve lost count of the friends I’ve met there. That’s extravagant.

When I went to Guatemala last summer, I asked that God would change my outlook through the experience. That would’ve been generous. He introduced me to Teej. That was extravagant.

Many times, I asked God to send me someone who would share my dreams and support me as I tried to achieve them. That would’ve been generous. But through Teej, He showed my that my dreams were small and there are much better things to reach for. That was extravagant.

So many times I have asked God for something I thought I wanted, and been disappointed when I didn’t get it. But what He has given is always far, far better than what I think I want.

God’s love is truly a love extravagant.


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