Have you ever noticed the elastic nature of love? My wife and I were happily married for five years before David was born. I thought my heart would burst with love. I guess that proud pain I was feeling was the stretching of my love to include another member in the family. But it happened again. Jonathan was born eighteen months later. I felt that wonderful pain of love stretching. Five years later when Ben was born I thought I could not bear the joy. . . the overwhelming since of love. I felt the pain of love stretching even more. Surely that would be it. But my love was to stretch even more, for when Jonathan married Becky I once again felt the pain of my love stretching. And it is still happening! Joshua was born the day before Christmas in 2001 and then Emily brought us more joy when she was born in October 2003. (Would you like to see my pictures?)
Our love has stretched to include more people into our family. In so doing those members have actually been woven into the fabric of mutual love. We are one. It is no wonder that Jesus used the family to express the concept of what happens when we are born of God. He says we are “grafted into the vine.” He says we are “sons.” I believe He experiences the same joyful pain of the love stretch every time someone calls on Him asking that He pardon them for their sinfulness.