In 2002, we visited my brother and his family who are missionaries in Africa. While there, they took us to see one of the natural wonders of the world—Victoria Falls. This is the world’s longest waterfall and is found on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia. It spans one mile and drops 420 ft into a gorge. (For your reference, Niagara Falls is 1060 ft long with a 70 ft drop.)
You can imagine our amazement and awe at God’s handiwork as we walked along the opposite ridge, viewed the Falls from many angles and felt the spray of 550,000 cubic meters of water falling every minute! It was a lavish display of grandeur I will never forget!
Well, soon after we returned home, a friend took my husband and nine year old son camping in Ohiopyle State Park in western Pennsylvania. While there, they drove by Ohiopyle Falls which is a mere twenty foot drop.
As you can imagine, my son was not impressed! He took one look at the falls, turned to his dad and emphatically said, “That is not…not…not…not…not Victoria Falls!” John-Mark had experienced LAVISH and he was no longer going to be moved by a trickle!
Did you know that God’s love is described as lavish in the Bible?
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!1 John 3:1
I love the word lavish here. Lavish means to expend or bestow with profusion. Profusion means poured forth liberally; extravagant, exhibiting great abundance, bountiful—just like Victoria Falls.
1 John 4:8 says that God IS love. It is the essence of who he is. The New Testament word for love is agape. Agape is self-sacrificial. God demonstrated that love by sending his son to die for us.
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.I John 4:9-10