This devotional was originally published on June 30, 2016.
How can God the Father love a person who is lost and rebellious in sin? It’s a love that is hard to fathom. This love would send Jesus Christ to the cross for our sins. How can God the Father love us so much?
My wife and I have two daughters. Lola, our 3-year-old, is an adventurous explorer, and Harper, who is 13 months old, is learning to walk. I can’t explain how much I love them. Every night before I put Lola to bed, we have this rehearsed dialogue where I say, “I have two things to tell you.” Lola knows this prompt, so she responds by saying, “One: I love you, and two: you’re my best friend.” She is my best friend, and I love her so much, because she is my child and I am her father. There aren’t words that can express the love of a father.
A few weeks before Lindsay and I moved to Texas, we were spending an evening with some of our closest friends, Jason and Katie. After dinner, Jason and I were sitting on the deck with our respective children. While Lola was playing with Jason’s daughter, she noticed the stairs leading to a lower part of the deck. She asked permission to go down the stairs. I told her to wait, but she was off in a flash. In her excitement, she got caught on Jason’s chair and went tumbling down the stairs. Her face hit the stairs first, then she flipped over and hit her back, and finally landed on her face again. As a parent, it was one of my scariest moments. I raced from my chair to get to her as fast as I could. When I reached down to pick up my daughter, I cuddled her, I held her, I told her how much I loved her. I just tried to be close to her. It never entered my mind to remind her of her disobedience. I was just glad she was alive.
How can God the Father love a person lost and rebellious in sin? Lola fell down the stairs because she disobeyed my instructions. In essence, she sinned. In that moment, I demonstrated love to my daughter, and not judgment, because I was grateful that she was alive. This event, although traumatic, was instrumental for me in understanding a God that leads with love. The heart of the Father is concerned with bringing the lost home and giving them life. I would encourage anyone needing to come home to do it today. Don’t worry about the past mistakes and sins. Just come home.