Today I told Baby Roo to "come here" so I could change her diaper. Like every diaper change for the last 2 months, she took off running the opposite direction but this time it ended with a BAM as she ran right into her crib. She went down with a thud and loud wailing ensued. Later that day I was inspecting the knotted bruise on her forehead and thinking of how many times I've had the same experience with God.
He calls to me and I go running the opposite direction. Like Emily, my "running" isn't meant to be disobedient, its more because I don't want to stop doing what I'm doing or because of immaturity but don't be fooled, it is still disobedience. Like Emily, I don't think ahead of consequences, I just know I want my own way.
And let's be clear here friends, I didn't make Emily run into the crib and hit her head. I didn't wave a magic wand to place that hard, wooden crib in her path and "teach her a lesson". The consequence came naturally as she was running from me and not paying attention to where she was going. I think we're sometimes quick to blame God for when actually it may just be a natural consequence to sin. I know many of you of have a picture of God that He is just waiting for you to mess up so that He can thump you with his Holy Hammer. May I give you a tender reminder today of your Father's astounding love for you? Jeremiah 31:3 says, "The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness." Need a little more? How about John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
There are two more parallels I want to draw from Roo's folly today. One is that she's got a good ol' bump on her head as a little reminder. We too sometimes are left with scars when we run from God; you know what your scar is, maybe its physical and visible for the world to see or maybe its just a spot on your heart but you know what it is. Let it remind you that God only wants what's best for you. He's not calling you to do something that isn't the absolute best thing for you; He is unable of being anything other than good and while you may have other plans it may save you some heartache if you give in sooner rather than later.
Finally, what do you think I did as Emily lie crying on the floor? Do you think I turned my head from her and ignored her cry? Do you think I stomped over to her and admonished, "Well that's what you get you foolish little thing"? No, I ran to her, swept her up in my arms and kissed her. I whispered how much I loved her and that she was going to be ok. I explained she still needed her diaper changed and that I would be fast and then we would go downstairs and have a snack. And like a loving mother, how much more loving, forgiving and gracious is our Heavenly Father: Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail (Lam 3:22).
*For more on God's astounding love and not treating us as our sins deserve check out Luke 15.