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rivers of love

BY CHAQUANA TOWNSEND

This past weekend I, along with 5 interns, had the privilege of going to Camp Chandler with the 1st through 3rd grade children. We spent 3 days in the backwoods of Wetumpka with young children who were excited yet ready to break free from structure. This past weekend was fun, challenging, and sanctifying, but one thing stands out the most in my heart: despite the challenges and difficulties of the weekend, my love only grows for the children I work with.

As a single woman, I get to participate in training up a child in the ways of the Lord. I get a glimpse of the labor, pain, and joys of being a parent as I work with children on a regular basis. It blows my mind how my heart will do anything to see them prosper, to see them thrive, to see them really walk with the Lord. However, as I think of the God-given love I have for these children,  I think about how much God loves me and stops at nothing to see me blossom and prosper in Him.

When I think about the faces of the babies I work with, my heart leaps for joy. They have literally changed my life and continue to push me towards the Lord. Moreover, I see more of God's love for me because He stops at nothing to pursue me and capture my heart. My love for the children I work with is imperfect and flawed, but His love is perfect. He never gives up on me and nothing can pluck me from His hand. He separates my sin as far as the east is from the west. He offers forgiveness when I turn to Him instead of condemnation. He shows kindness instead of impatience. My imperfect human love for the little ones is just a small glimpse of God's overwhelming love for me!!

The children remind me that God is fighting for me as I fight for them. They remind me that I am a sinner and need of a Savior because of my flawed perspective. I am constantly reminded that God is a loving Father,  yet His discipline is for my good. I am reminded daily that God is a Father whose love flows like a river; it never runs out. As Job so eloquently put, "I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes..." (Job 42:5).

I see God in so many ways, and it pushes me to repent and turn to Him. I am so thankful for His amazing, overflowing love, and the conduit of the children at CGM to see it.