I took a step of faith on Saturday by moving my Christmas poinsettia from the kitchen table to the coffee table. Why was this a step of faith? The coffee table is completely within the reach of my toddler, and I had faith that she would not destroy my beautiful poinsettia. That faith may have been a bit misplaced.
We made it to Tuesday. My daughter had enjoyed looking at the beautiful flower at eye level, and even smelling it. She knows she’s allowed to smell the houseplants (even the ones that don’t have any kind of smell), but she also knows she isn’t allowed to touch. On Tuesday, I watched as she smelled, and then the temptation overcame her. She reached out a hand and plucked a stem from that perfect poinsettia making it a bit lopsided.
But here’s the thing I love about my daughter. When she hears us say no and realizes she’s done something wrong, she doesn’t run and hide; she runs straight to us, leaping into our arms. She knows what she did was wrong, but she also knows where to find love and forgiveness. I love that because it reminds me of what God wants me to do when I sin.
Just like my daughter, I have a rebellious heart and a sin nature. I fail every single day. My temptation is to hide, like Adam and Eve did in the garden. But God, my Father, wants me to do what my daughter does and run to Him. He is there with open arms, ready to show compassion.
Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.
My daughter knew that it made me sad that she broke my flower, but I hugged her and forgave her anyway. Because that’s what God does for me. Then I took the broken stem, trimmed the end, and put it in a vase of water. Because that’s what God does for me. He takes my brokenness and my failures, and through the forgiveness of Jesus He makes something beautiful out of my life anyway.
I John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
But you know what’s even better? Sometimes my daughter doesn’t even get to the point of committing the disobedient act. Sometimes it’s enough for her to hear us say no, and she comes running to our arms. What if I did that more often? What if when I heard the Holy Spirit whisper “no,” I ran straight to the arms of my Father? After all, when conviction comes, He’s just trying to protect me from harm. He loves me more than I could ever fathom.
…despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?