I suppose one advantage to insomnia (or perhaps the only advantage) is that you have plenty of time to think. That's a curse and a blessing. The whirling away of my brain that began as soon as I turned off the light at midnight turned into a blessing.
I feel like I had an epiphany tonight about God's love for us. I was thinking about Meg, and wishing that there was some way that I could relate to her and communicate the love that God has for her. (I think it's often easier to desire things of that nature for other people as opposed to ourselves). As I reflected on the concept of God's love, I envisioned Christ's sacrifice on the Cross for us. And suddenly it hit me: I've always viewed the Cross completely wrong. Tonight it seemed like the verse that we all know by heart, John 3:16, came to life for me, surprisingly in my thinking about Meg. The thought came to me that I'd do anything to know that Meg could know the love of God. And that thought brought the love of God for me to life in new ways.
Since I'm not a father, it's hard to know what it must be like to have such love for your child that you would do anything for them, so the impact of imagining what Our Father's love for us must be like doesn't resonate with me as strongly as does my love for Meg. Tonight I realized that I've always viewed Christ's death and sacrifice on the Cross as something that "just had to be done," as if Christ was duty bound to die for us, and God the Father was duty bound to offer his only begotten Son on our behalf because it was what the rules required. Sure, it was motivated by love, but it was really done regretfully, to fix the screw up that Adam arranged for all of us. Basically I think I've just seen the situation as one where God's been batting clean up ever since with a constant tsk, tsk and a roll of the eyes.
Tonight, a glimmer of God's overwhelming love wedged it's way into my thinking. I realize that I have absolutely no concept of how much God loves me. None. I know rationally that He does, I accept the truth that He does, and indeed I see evidence of His love in my friends, family and life but it all feels rather intellectual. The magnitude of His love for me, a love that exists as more than an academic reality, is something I don't believe I have ever come remotely close to grasping. Tonight, I saw clearly that God WANTED to offer His Son on behalf of us, because of His love. I know it's something I should have learned back in Vacation Bible School, but apparently it didn't stick. Here's what I saw tonight: He offered Himself up for me because He delights in me, and everyone else who's ever walked the face of the planet. His love for one person is more immense than the purest love of all of humanity. And here's the most remarkable part for me: it's not a love that's motivated out of obligation from the Maker to the made, but rather it's motivated out of love that stems from a God who genuinely LIKES us.
I guess tonight was a good night not to sleep, since I began to see a glimmer of the fact that indeed God happens to like me.
And really, that's more profound than knowing He loves me.