Tuesday, November 20, 2012
And God loves us anyway. He loves us enough to die for us! This is the Good News... The healing of our relationship with God. This is the heart of God's message in the Bible. He loves us.
And, oh, what a difficult thing to explain to an almost-6-year-old who feels unlovable!
Our youngest has had a hard few weeks. We have traveled a lot to help take care of an ailing grandparent. We have been out of our routine. This is hard for our wee one; she thrives on routine! And on one particular occasion, one of our extended family members said something very hurtful to this almost-6-year-old. Not meaning to be cruel, but it was taken very hard by our child, piercing her tender heart.
And WOW! Has her behavior showed her stress! She has been whiny. Crabby. Demanding. Defiant. Melodramatic over little problems. Unpleasant in all sorts of ways!
Today, as I rubbed her back while she wailed uncontrollably, I asked her, "What are you crying about?" repeatedly. Not to be annoying, but to get to the core issue(s). Her answers, in order, were:
1) "Because so-and-so was mean to me!"
2) "Because I want to go to so-and-so's house!"
3) "Because you yelled at me!"
4) "Because I was naughty in school!"
5) "Because (breaking into uncontrollable sobs) I think you and Daddy don't love me anymore!"
Much cuddling and sobbing later, she explained that she didn't think we could love her because she'd been so naughty in school. (She had been pretty obnoxious, but every parent knows that a child's misbehavior doesn't lead a parent to stop loving him/her!) I asked her if she thought that being naughty in school was worse than stealing, or if stealing was worse than being naughty in school.
She looked puzzled and said that stealing was worse. I said I agreed and asked if she remembered who Zaccheus was. She did. I asked if Jesus loved Zaccheus before or after Zaccheus had stopped stealing. "Before," she said. I reminded her that Jesus had loved Zaccheus while he was still a stealer (her word).
And He did. And He does.
He loves us when we're selfish. Crabby. Defiant. Hurtful. Deceitful. He loves us anyway.
We all have those times when we feel utterly unlovable. When we behave in unlovable ways! When even our mommas would struggle to find lovable characteristics to point out...
And that's when Jesus loves us enough to die for us. That's some powerful love.
I pray it's a love that my daughter saw today, heard today, felt today. I pray it's a love she will carry with her for her entire life.