1 John 3:1a “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!”
It’s funny how the smallest things can embed themselves in your memory. There are so many things we forget, but then the most insignificant of experiences sticks and throughout your life comes to mind. Sometimes it even shapes how you look at God.
A Small But Memorable Experience
When I was a young child my family went to visit a neighbor family. I can’t remember what color the carpet was in the small house, or what we had for dinner, or even what we did. The only real memory I have occurred as we children were playing in the living room. We must have been doing something annoying – though I really can’t remember what. Maybe we were too loud or rambunctious, as children tend to be. But all I recollect was the father of the other children bursting into the room and bellowing, “You better quit that or I will get out the belt!”
This outburst unnerved me and my timid heart shut down! The evening was ruined and from then on I only wanted to sit in safety by my own mother and father. This small experience has stuck with me for fifty years and every once in a while visions of a short, stocky man brandishing a long piece of leather intrudes on my thoughts.
While this was just a one-time event for me, it affected me greatly. I can only imagine how children who experience this on a regular basis might feel. Their experiences with a belligerent and angry father would certainly color their view of their Heavenly Father. Many see God as Someone with hand on belt buckle ready to unleash and punish any and every mistake or failure we make. But this is not a true picture.
Our Heavenly Father is Kind and Compassionate
Our Heavenly Father is a kind and compassionate Dad. He appropriately disciplines us when necessary for our good, but is also forgiving and understands humans make mistakes. I saw a much better illustration of Him this weekend while watching Cedarville High School’s rendition of the The Music Man.
Professor Hill arrived in River City, Iowa, with the intention of hoodwinking the town into purchasing uniforms and instruments for a boys’ band. Throughout the play Professor Hill falls in love with Marian, the town’s librarian, and owns up to the deception in order to make things right. The town is up in arms and meet at the city hall to decide what to do with the handcuffed Professor Hill. Marian makes a plea about all the good the professor has done for the town but to no avail.
A Better Picture of a the Heart of a Loving Father
Just when it seems that all is lost, the boys of the town, dressed in spiffy red and white band uniforms, march down the center aisle to the stage. They assemble across the front, raise their instruments, and begin to play with a myriad of blats, toots, and discordant notes. Despite the cacophony proud mothers suddenly begin to stand up in the crowd, pointing to the front and saying,
“That’s my boy!”
“That’s my Davie!”
“Mrs. Paroo, that’s your Winthrop!”
It didn’t matter that the band didn’t sound like the Philharmonic orchestra. These were their children and they were pleased and proud.
That’s how God looks at His children! He isn’t watching with hand on belt to whip us for everything we do wrong. He disciplines when necessary with kindness and love, but all of the time He watches us carefully with twinkling eyes and heart of affection.
Even when we make mistakes, are too loud, rambunctious, or not perfect, He is not annoyed. Instead He points at us proudly and proclaims,
“That’s my girl!” “That’s my boy!”
And all of heaven applauds!
If you like Verses from Mama, I invite you to click here and sign up to receive them straight to your email.