When my eldest child was just a toddler, my mother would scoop her up in her arms and say, “I love you more than chocolate.” My daughter would respond with, “I love you more than ice cream!” and the giggles would erupt. They would go back and forth as far as my daughterʼs experience and imagination would take them and they could think no bigger. The exchange, of course, caught on with my younger children and is a favorite little game. It is fun to hear what everyone comes up with, though it is interesting that 99% of the time the “more than” is food related. This is telling about our family.
While the childrenʼs “ultimate” changes every few months, from a giant bowl of fresh, hot, buttery popcorn to a new box of Star Wars Legos, they have found that mine tends to stay the same. When I say, “I love you more than a grande, half-caf, non-fat latte, and a slice of pumpkin pie with a dollop of whipped cream on top” theyʼve scored. They know Iʼm dreaming of the morning after Thanksgiving, when our home is full of family, the dishes from the big dinner the night before are all cleaned and put away, the refrigerator is stuffed with left-overs, and my pie is served on our pretty Christmas plates which will have just been pulled out that morning.
The anticipation of Christmas will be sprinkled through the air as we talk of putting up the tree, and my youngest child will patter down the stairs in her jammies and tussled hair. Sheʼll snuggle into my lap and reach for my fork knowing all too well that sheʼs entered Mommyʼs sacred moment and that the bite of pie she is hoping for has nothing to do with Libbyʼs pumpkin pie ﬁlling and everything to do with Mommyʼs happy moment. Life is good.
We each have our “happy moments,” and it is fun to hear what the children come up with as they get older each year and try to express the magnitude of their love for our family. As believers, Christ has gifted us a “happy moment” that will last an eternity and offered us an “I love you more than…” that can never be surpassed. He loves us more than the perfect and unblemished life He so graciously laid down for us. In Ephesians, Paul writes,
“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lordʼs holy people, 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.”
How amazing to know that we are loved beyond our comprehension and greatest imagination; that God not only loves us more than chocolate, He loves us longer, higher and deeper than anything we can imagine.