ACCORDING to some estimates, by the end of the century there will be seven billion people on earth. Does this mean that the love and care of God, our Father, will have to be spread rather thinly among so many? That perhaps some will be left out altogether? Even within families, apparent favoritism can be a challenge. The older son, for example, in Christ Jesus' parable of the prodigal son, was angry and resentful when he found that his brother was being joyously welcomed home after squandering his share of the inheritance. He felt unloved and jealous and would not join the celebration. But his father came out and assured him, ``Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.''1 Not only did the father give all his love to the wayward son who had repented of his wild living, but he also gave all his love to the faithful stay-at-home son.
God's love is unfailing and infinite -- He expresses all of it to each of His children. In fact, every one of us is His favorite child! He has made each one of us in His own image, giving all His qualities of wisdom, love, intelligence, strength, and goodness, without measure to each.
If this does not seem to be so for us, it may be that something is getting in the way that we can overcome. Perhaps, like the younger son, we're chasing after material things that cause us to lose sight of our Father's love. Or we may be like the older one and fail to recognize the love God is pouring out on us. After all, if someone is trying to give us something, and we are rigidly refusing to expect or accept anything, how can we receive it?
Instead, we can be willing to accept the good God is giving us. And we can give up feelings of guilt or unworthiness that would cause us to fail to expect good, for God does not see us this way. In the book of Jeremiah we find out how God does see us, for He says, ``I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.''2
How can we gain a better sense of God's love for us? We can turn wholeheartedly to Him, listen obediently, and cherish what we glimpse of His love. This is a One-to-one relationship, not a One-to-seven-billion, that God has with each of His children.
One night when my daughter was small, she said her prayers, which included a poem by Mary Baker Eddy that begins ``Father-Mother God,/Loving me,''3 and went to sleep. As I sat there, I was filled with a sense of God's presence and of His love for all mankind. I have felt His loving presence so clearly at other times, too, and each one has been a precious reminder that without doubt our Father-Mother God knows and loves each of us.
Mrs. Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, writes, ``Father-Mother is the name for Deity, which indicates His tender relationship to His spiritual creation.''4
If people feel that because of their race, situation in life, or gender they are less favored than others, they can know that this is not so. The Bible tells us: ``Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.... There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.''5
We do not need to give up hope of ever having a tiny portion of God's love; for we each have all of it.
1Luke 15:31. 2Jeremiah 31:3. 3Miscellaneous Writings, p. 400. 4Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 332. 5Galatians 3:26, 28.