There have been several things in the past few months that have led me to new understanding of God as my Father, and the sacrificial, unconditional love He has for us.
Becoming a parent is a definitive milestone in pretty much anyone’s life – in mine, it has opened my eyes to a new level of understanding of God as my Father and the depth of His love for me and the rest of His children. The fact that He would send His only son as a sacrifice for me speaks whole new volumes to me as I hold my sweet little baby girl in my arms. I wouldn’t give her up for anything, and you certainly wouldn’t be able to convince me to give her up to save a bunch of murderers, liars, cheats and thieves like us! How much God must love us! I would do anything for her and love her with a depth of love I didn’t know I was capable of. She is my husband’s and my flesh and blood and I willingly make sacrifices for her out of love. I don’t like to think about it, but of course there will come a day where I may be disappointed by her choices or hurt by her for some reason or another, but I will never stop loving her as my child. This has completely changed how I see God – when I was younger, I knew God loved us because I had heard it so often, but in my childish mind, it was more of a stern love, heaving a heavy sigh after each of my mistakes and begrudgingly forgiving me even though He was massively disappointed with me and wondering why He loved me in the first place? I can see now how wrong I was! Forgiveness is freely given when it is coming from a depth of sacrificial, unconditional, all-encompassing love – there is no score keeping, no recording of our sins, and no reluctant love that is in danger of running out. It’s there forever, no matter what.
I also don’t really like to say that any aspect of entertainment could have changed my life, but the perspective that was given in the movie The Shack really hit me hard (I haven’t had a chance to read the book, but can assume that it is equally as powerful). At first, I wasn’t very open minded to what was being portrayed, but as my husband often does, he made some thought provoking comment on how it was an interesting perspective, and I tried to see the rest of the film through a new viewpoint, and ended up being blessed beyond what I thought I would, and think about it often! How many times did I read the Bible and think of God as my Father…but I never thought of Him as the Father of all, even those who sin in ways we see outwardly and condemn so readily. Haven’t we all sinned? The Bible says no sin is worse than the other, except for blasphemy. If God is the Father of all, by judging people here on this earth we are effectively asking Him to hate or condemn one of His own children. Are we even able to do that? If asked, could we value the life of one child over the other? Definitely not! Even having only one child, I know my answer would be a resounding no, I couldn’t choose! Seeing that played out in the movie really opened my eyes to how I see others and how God sees us all as our Father. Now, this certainly doesn’t mean that we don’t have laws and consequences in place to protect ourselves in this life, or that God doesn’t value justice or divine retribution for wrong deeds – I think by reading the Bible we can all see that He doesn’t allow wrongs to go unpunished. I simply mean that all moral judgement can come ultimately from God alone…we have no leg to stand on when it comes to judging who of our sisters or brothers is right before our Father, and who is wrong. We know what the Bible says is right and wrong and are responsible for our own actions; with all that is going on in the world today, perhaps we should reevaluate our prejudices and bitter judgements and try to remember to love and forgive like we have been so graciously loved and forgiven – like it or not, we are all family here.