Share this story

God’s Far-Reaching Love

God’s plan of salvation isn’t exclusive. It’s inclusive, available to all.

Shawnelle's son and dad working on a birdhouse.

We’re in the side yard, and Lonny is trimming trees. The boys and I are gathering sticks and making a mammoth pile of twiggy branches. When I look up to check Lonny’s progress, I see a spot of red through the lush leaves of our old maple.

It’s a birdhouse. Handmade by my father and one of my sons.

A few years ago, Dad was given several planks of solid, straight Iowa barn board. They were rugged and red and wore years of history.

“What will you do with them?” I asked Dad, one afternoon, as he, Mom, and I sat in their front yard.

Shawnelle's son and dad working on a birdhouse.“Birdhouses,” he said. “I was thinking that I’d cut the pieces, and then I’d build them with your little boys.”

“They’d love it,” I said.

And the next time I visited, there were three white bags hanging on the pegboard in Dad’s garage. “Birdhouse kits,” he said. Then he smiled his dimpled smile–the one he passed down to one of my sons.

We planned a date, a few weeks down the calendar, for Dad and my boys to build the birdhouses. But the next time I visited, just a few days later, the white bags had multiplied. There were now six hanging on his pegboard.

“For the other little grandsons,” he said. “They’d enjoy a project too. I don’t want to leave anyone out.”

It was a precious sentiment. And I wasn’t surprised when the bags kept increasing in number. A few days later, and there were three more white bags. Nine in total, hanging, waiting, on Dad’s old pegboard in the garage.

“The little grand girls?” I asked.

Dad smiled again. “Of course,” he said.

I’ve known him my whole life–that’s just how Dad is.

Today, as I remember that sweet time, I think about my heavenly Father. This is the way He is, too. His love, His plan of salvation, the grace-gift of Jesus–it’s available to all. God’s plan isn’t exclusive. It’s inclusive. In fact, His very heart is that none would be lost.

Community Newsletter

Get More Inspiration Delivered to Your Inbox

“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine and go to look for the one that wandered off?

And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any one of these little ones should be lost.” (Matthew 18:12-14)

Oh, the grace in this far-reaching gift of love!

Isaiah tugs on the hem of my T-shirt, and he comes close to stand beside me. He cups his hand over his brow, squints his eyes, and peers up into the tree.

“Oh, you’re looking at the birdhouse,” he says. “The one that Papa made with me.”

I stand for a moment and remember Dad’s worn hands, folding over the sweet, soft, dimpled hands of my little son. They lifted the hammer. They pounded the nails. It blesses me to know that all my father’s grandchildren experience the goodness of his love.

And I’m comforted beyond measure to know that it’s our Father’s desire that each one of us would know His love, too.

Dear Father, you know those on my heart. Those who are living without the goodness of your love. Thank you for pursuing them. Thank you that you do not want even one to be lost. Amen.

Share this story

All God's Creatures 2023 Devotional

0 reviews

A Daily Devotions for Animal Lovers. This inspiring devotional brings you 365 touching stories of animals who appear at just the right moment providing comfort and bringing us closer to our faith.

Plus, enjoy four FREE beautiful, custom-designed note cards and envelopes with any print edition purchase.

Community Newsletter

Get More Inspiration Delivered to Your Inbox

Donate to change a life together
Scroll to Top