In that moment, I saw God.
Not an angry God. Not a disappointed God.
A forgiving God. A loving God.
A God full of joy.
Let me take you there...
My grandson’s big blue eyes held a lot of fear for such a little guy.
He was confessing to his parents.
He was asking for forgiveness.
You see, moments before in Sunday school I had taught a lesson on that very subject. Forgiveness.
His little 5 year old mind couldn’t seem to grasp the concept, so I made up a story to illustrate. A fictional story about him, a little boy who broke something of his moms without her knowing. The little boy hid what he broke, but later that night as he lay in bed his heart seemed to hurt.
He knew he had to tell her what he had done.
He needed to confess.
So he went to her bedroom and explained everything. With tears he told her he was sorry and asked her to please not be mad for what he had done.
He asked for forgiveness.
As I told that fictional story his eyes seemed to increase in size with every detail,
and then I found out why.
He told me his own story.
We both decided it was something he needed to confess to his parents.
So here we were, in the front pew after church. With his sweet little lisp he spoke-
“Last summer, I climbed up on top of the shelves in the garage and reached for some of your pottery and one piece fell and broke... so I buried it in the dirt behind the garage. I’m sorry”.
There was no hesitation in his parent’s reaction. They could see his repentance. He was their child. They smiled (and almost laughed) they pulled him close and hugged him and told him he was forgiven.
And with childlike faith, it was over.
He smiled and ran to play.
In that moment I saw forgiveness. I saw freedom and release. I saw unconditional love. Little Gabe did not carry that weight with him. He let it go and with unabashed joy he laughed and played
as if it never happened,
and in amazement I watched it all unfold.
This 55 year old grandma was reminded again of the love my Father has for me.
This was God. Our Father.
How often do we feel the weight of guilt for the things we have done? How often do we worry that God is angry with us? We might try to hide our sin, or we might recognize it, repent and ask for forgiveness, but deep down we struggle with believing that our past truly can be forgiven. We might view God as an angry God who expects perfection and if we don’t measure up, punishment will ensue.
But this is not God at all.
Our God is the God of that little child.
You are that child.
He is our God full of mercy, grace and love. Our “It is finished” Father.
Our God who wants us to have faith as a little child. To leave it all with Him and to experience the freedom, joy and peace of repentance and forgiveness.
At times I think we make it too hard. We’re human and we tend to look at God as if He were human too. He holds no grudges as we do. Whether it’s broken pottery or a broken past, with absolutely no hesitation He pulls us close and hugs us. He tells us~
“It is finished my child~
All has already been forgiven”.
With the beauty this knowledge holds, how can we not be filled with unadulterated, pure joy in that freedom?
Our Father is smiling down at us~
let us run and play again.
No thought of the past. No fear of the future.
As little children.
Children full of faith in the love and forgiveness of our heavenly Father.
I John 1:7, 9
II Corinthians 5:21