God’s Favorite (2014-12-04 Daily)
Mom always liked you best!
I drove the Chevy Traverse east on Airport Freeway through the mid-cities between Dallas and Fort Worth, trying my darndest to keep the big SUV between the lines and doing my best to keep my mama calm. Light rain exercised the windshield wipers and the brake lights glaring through the streaked glass exercised our patience; we’d left Aledo three hours before Mom and Dad’s flight was scheduled to depart, but the construction, the rain, and the stop-and-go traffic ramped up my mother’s nervousness. “When will we get out of this?” she asked.
“When we get to airport entrance,” I replied. I prayed for God to keep us safe while I drove, and also that we’d arrive at the airport in plenty of time for my 73-year-old mom and my 72-year-old dad to make it through security and to their gate without a glitch. I’d driven to DFW Airport hundreds of times, and I felt confident we’d arrive safely, with time to spare.
After an hour, the traffic opened up like Moses parting the Red Sea, and I accelerated from 20 to 65 and held it there until we approached the toll gates at the airport entrance. I parked the Traverse and held the umbrella over my mom’s head as we crossed the access road and headed into the terminal. We embraced, said our “I love you’s” and good-byes, and I watched as Mom and Dad stripped off their coats, removed their liquids and gels, and pushed their trays along the stainless steel conveyor to the x-ray machines. Being over 65, they didn’t have to take off their shoes. Thank God for small favors. They soon merged with the crowd working its way through the security gate, and when I was sure they’d cleared the TSA checkpoint, I hustled back to the car.
The moment I walked through the glass door onto the access road, I saw that, even though it was still raining, the sun was doing its best to push aside the rolling purple clouds and declare its dominance over the morning. I couldn’t help but smile. I hurried to the car, texted Mary to let her know I was leaving the airport, and nudged the Traverse back onto DFW’s main access road toward the toll booths. Three dollars poorer, I emerged from the airport and started for home as the dark clouds wrestled to regain ground lost to the sunshine.
As I followed the exit road from DFW onto Texas 183, I reflected on the days we’d gotten to spend with my parents and my sister as they helped celebrate my 50th birthday party; their presence had put the icing on the cake! A bit melancholy, I blended into the light traffic as the sun again reasserted itself. And suddenly I found myself driving through the arch of a rainbow stretching from one side of the highway to the other, bright, thick, brilliant, complete, an Old Testament promise proclaiming itself to a New Testament world. I could see where both ends kissed the ground, and it was ethereal as the rainbow’s feet slid along the edges of the highway at the same speed as the SUV. And I choked up. “Thank you, Jesus,” I cried. “Thank you.”
In that moment I knew God was assuring me that my parents’ passage back home to Virginia would be safe and peaceful, that my drive would be covered with His Grace, that all was well and would continue to be well, no matter what. In that instant I felt God’s love, palpable, viable, oh-so-real reach through the windshield in that rainbow’s ROYGBIV, grab me up, and smother kisses all over my face. And I couldn’t help but think about the times my wife has told me “You’re God’s favorite. He loves you; He always answers your prayers.” But you know what? God has no favorites. He doesn’t! He smothers kisses on each and every one of us. He paints the sky with rainbows, whispers sweet “I love you’s” in our ears, holds our hands, even sings to us! All He asks is that our hearts, our minds, our souls receive that love and reflect it back to the world and light the Way for the lost. Like any good Daddy, all He wants is for us to notice His gifts, acknowledge the Giver, and know He is God.
I’d prayed that my family’s flights to Texas would be uneventful. They’d left Roanoke, Virginia under clear skies, and they’d arrived at DFW Airport early. Thank You, Jesus. I’d prayed for good weather for my birthday party as more than 75 folks had RSVP’d affirmative, and Friday, March 21, 2014, the day of my party, had dawned clear, and the temperature had risen to near 80 degrees under sunlit skies. Temperatures the rest of the weekend remained in the 50’s and 60’s, with off-and-on rain and a stout wind. Thank You, Jesus. I’d prayed for a safe return for my sister as she flew back home to be with her family, and she arrived without incident. Thank You, Jesus. And I’d prayed for a safe drive, an on-time arrival at DFW, and a safe trip back to Roanoke, Virginia for my parents; we arrived, they arrived. Thank You, Jesus.
“A new command I give you,” Jesus told His disciples during the Last Supper. “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35 NIV®). As I have love you, Jesus said. As I LOVE you. I recently saw a post on Facebook, an excerpt from Jefferson Bethke’s book Jesus>Religion:
“I was just lying there, swimming in my own shame and guilt, when this still, small voice whispered into the depths of my soul:
I love you.
I desire you.
I delight in you.
I saw you were going to do that before I went to the cross, and I still went.”
He LOVES you more than you can even fathom. He DESIRES you more than you’ll ever know. He DELIGHTS in you more than you can even imagine. And He gave His very life for you so that you can fathom, so that you can know, and so that you can imagine. “He will take great delight in you,” wrote the prophet Zephaniah, “in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17b NIV). He’s singing over you right now. Right now! You can’t tell me you’re not your Daddy’s favorite . . . .
Copyright ©2014 by David C. Hughes