Fourth Place

When I became pregnant with my first child, I was ecstatic—not only because I was going to have a baby, but because this pregnancy came after infertility treatments. Throughout my pregnancy, I continued to rejoice. I did all the things many moms do: I registered at Babies “R” Us and Target; I told everyone I knew about my baby; I was given six baby showers; I made arrangements to quit work three weeks before she would be born, in order to become a stay-at-home mom; and I even joined a prenatal fitness class.

Perhaps one of the most meaningful things I did, however, was write letters.

I don’t remember where I had gotten the idea, but I began writing my baby letters shortly after I knew there would be a baby. I wanted to tell her everything, about all the preparations, all the excitement, all the things that happened, and other people’s reactions.

Most of all, I wanted to pour out my love to her.

You see, I loved her even before she was born. As soon as I found out she existed, I loved her with all the mother-love my heart could hold. As my belly grew, so did my love for the little one living inside me. When she was finally born and they put her into my arms, I was amazed at the intensity of the love I already felt for her.

I remember vividly one day in the hospital, holding her in the crook of my arm as she slept, and thinking that if anyone came into my room and tried to hurt my baby, I would defend her with my life.

Why? Because I loved her so much.

When I found out I was pregnant with my second child, I was again elated. But this time I had a new concern.

Would I be able to love my second child as much as I loved my first?

I couldn’t comprehend how I could love any other child, even one of my own, as much as I loved my daughter, considering the all-consuming love I had for her.

You know what happened. When my son was born, I loved him, too—just as much as I loved my daughter. Oh, it took some time for our relationship to become as close as that with my daughter, considering that I had spent eighteen months with her, and had barely known my son. But I loved him every bit as much as I loved her. I don’t know how it happened, but my love for my daughter didn’t lessen. Instead, I somehow had an equal amount of love from my son. I know, of course, that God had put this love in my heart, enabling me to love more than one child.

It was the same way with my third child—that additional love was there, available for her.

It was the same way with my fourth child, too. I don’t love the fourth one less than the first, or the second or the third. She’s not in fourth place. I love them all equally.

Aren’t you glad God loves in the same way? Oh, I’m not saying that I love as perfectly as God loves. Far from it. What I am saying is that I’m very glad that with each additional child that comes into His fold, God has more than enough love to love them, too. He doesn’t love me less than my mom, just because she was “born again” first. Nor does He love my daughter any less than He loves me, just because she was born again later.

Praise God and His magnificent love, He loves us all with the same intense, all-consuming love, no matter where we fall in the birth order.

Think about that for a minute. God’s love is so great and so vast that He has enough love to completely, totally cover every one of his children from the beginning of time up until now, and from now until eternity begins.

Isn’t that an amazing amount of love? And it’s never going to be all used up. No matter how many people become God’s children, His love will never have reached its limit. There is no maximum capacity for God’s love.

I ask again: isn’t that amazing?

Take some time today and meditate on the vastness and completeness of God’s love. Marvel that He extends that love to you, and that He has plenty to extend to your children.

And then pray He will help you to love as He does—completely.

May your love be all the love a child could ever want from an earthly parent, just as God’s love is more than we could ever imagine.

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