Watching the births of my children have been some of the greatest moments of my life. They are extremely emotional experiences that I will always cherish. When Jackson Whitefield arrived last Friday, we had my oldest three daughters—Grace, Joye, and Esther—in the delivery room. For seven-year-old Esther, it was her first time watching, and I’ll never forget her face as the baby was coming out. At first, she was up next to Heidi’s head. I convinced myself that I would actually watch the baby coming out instead of staying up near Heidi’s face (a first for me—more on that later) and when Jackson began to exit his fort, I called to Esther to “come down” and watch. Her face, full of excitement and anticipation like she was about to watch a sea lion balance a ball on his nose, suddenly dropped into horror and shock as she saw Jackson’s head popping out of the proverbial plumbing (oh well, more info than many of you wanted). Esther later said the experience was “disgusting and cool.”

For me, the whole experience was more than I could emotionally handle. I weep every time my babies are born anyway, but add to that the baby-being-squeezed-through-a-pipe movie, clipping and cutting the cord (which I’ve done every time minus the clipping), and the emotional stamina required to watch your wife suffer for over ten hours, I nearly fainted and plopped into a chair next to the bed dizzy and crying. Regrettably, the nurses and my daughters had to tend to me along with my wife and newborn son. Even Heidi Jo, who just pushed an entire human being out of her crotch only seconds before, was suddenly asking me if I was OK. How embarrassing.

I’m always amazed at how instantly, perfectly, and completely I love my children the moment I meet them. Immediately, the moment I saw Jackon’s precious little face, my fatherly instinct to provide, bless, and protect, even at the cost of my life, was triggered. And there, in the delivery room, I sensed my heavenly Father looking at me, and saying, “How much more your heavenly Father.”

Any fatherly example, instinct, or emotion that I embody or feel is only a pale reflection of the Ultimate Father. That’s why having children has been one of the greatest tools God has used in my life to teach me about His own love for His children. It would be arrogant for me to think that I love my own kids more than God loves His. So I have to conclude that whatever I sense for my own son must be defined exponentially greater if I am to understand my Father’s love for me.

I love my son Jackson, even though He doesn’t even fully understand that yet. How much more your heavenly Father?

I would die to protect my son’s life. How much more your heavenly Father?

I would tear apart my son’s enemies if they threatened to harm him. How much more your heavenly Father?

I will never disown my son. How much more your heavenly Father?

I will provide everything my son needs. How much more your heavenly Father?

I will always love my son. How much more your heavenly Father?

Walk in your Father’s love today, remembering what John said when he wrote, “We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (1 John 4:16, NASB).

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