I think the best picture of God’s love for us is to look at our love for our children. We know we are sinners, and we know how undeserving we are of God’s love and His grace. Sometimes, I think, God, why do you even waste your time with me? I am just a lost cause. But then I look at my boys, and I know I would never give up on them. They make mistakes, but nothing could ever change my love for them. I don’t stop loving them when they do something wrong- I don’t even love them less. Sometimes, they’re not that loveable- they are teenagers! Yet, I love them totally, completely and unconditionally. I don’t have to try to love them. They are a part of me. I long to spend time with them, talk to them and wrap them up in a hug. It doesn’t matter that my oldest is 6’5″ and about 270. He’s my baby. Right now, he’s four hours away from me, and I miss his face and his presence.
To me, that’s how God looks at us. When we are away from Him- He misses us. He wants us to spend time with Him, talk to Him and let Him wrap us up in His arms. No matter what we do, He loves us and doesn’t give up on us. His parable of the prodigal son illustrates that so well. He celebrates when we return to Him. Sometimes our children make decisions we don’t agree with. Experience has shown us where they are headed, but they have to learn their own lessons (just like we did). Sometimes, those mistakes carry serious consequences, and even though we love them they still have to face the consequences. It’s painful for us to watch, and we wish they would have listened in the first place. Oh, I can see Jesus looking down at me from heaven and shaking His head- wondering if I will ever learn. Have you ever looked at your child- no matter their age- and thought I wish I could do this for them? Most of us would take any punishment to protect our kids, and that’s exactly what Christ did for us.
When the hard times come and storm is howling all around you, know that He is there in the storm. His hand is on you. He hurts when you hurt and loves you no matter what. He has already taken the punishment for whatever you may have done. He allows the storms to refine you not to punish you. One day, you will come out of it and you will know without a doubt He was with you. When you say, “I don’t know how I survived that.” Yeah, you do. There is only one person that can shelter us and love us until the storm passes, and when it does, you share your story of how faithful your God is!