God Loves You
I had a call from a young dad who had been facing, what to him, appeared to be a very alarming health threat. His heart was heavy with fear for his wife and children and with regret for the choices he had made as a college student that he now felt were coming back to, if you will excuse the image, bite him in the butt"
As he said, "I know this isn't very spiritual, but I feel like I'm being punished for all the bad choices I made as a younger man....drinking, smoking pot, etc.". I could hear the mingled terror and regret catching in his throat almost strangling him with sorrow, self-doubt and a sense of moral failure.
My heart wanted to leap through the phone and hold him close...assuring him that God would never treat His beloved son this way....never. But as far as technology has come....phone leaping is still not something Sprint offers as an expansion feature to my service package at this juncture in time.
So...I had two choices...I could talk myself blue in the face trying to convince him that it was not true because of what I had experienced of God's love and mercy...or I could pray. I chose the latter. As much as I love to tell "my story" of God's grace it was still mine...not his and this young man needed something he could feel for himself.
Sometimes prayers are like a lovely hot bath for me....I soak...other times they are a quick cool shower just to get the sand and salt off after a dip in the ocean on a hot summer day...this was one of those moments when as much as I wanted a good long soak, the discomfort that this young dad was in required a quick bracing shower for me. And pray I did....I turned my entire being to my Mother-God and ask her for an answer that would not only give peace in an intellectual way, but that would be FELT by this dear man.
She also came through...in spades...
Within seconds of my turning the words came...."you are a dad...is this what you would give to your son (or daughter) who had explored life, taken some turns you may not have recommended, and experienced some bumpy "off-roading" and then found their way back on the right road"...
I knew that being a dad was this man's first and foremost sense of identity and purpose in life. He had spent years preparing to be the best, most understanding, fun, well-equipped spiritually focused dad I knew and nothing could undermine or unsettle his sense of that role.
I asked him, "If you knew that as a father you had all the power and all the resources in the universe to respond to your child's need, pure desires for mercy and peace, and rightly motivated sense of direction and purpose....what would you do and how would YOU respond?" I could hear the weight of sorrow, fear and regret begin to lift....he knew, he FELT how a father who loves his child would respond."
So many times we forget that God is our true and only Parent and that He/She loves us and wants us to know Her love, to know His bounty, to engage in the Family business of living love...
Each of us has a Father who loves us without measure or condition, has all the power in the universe to bless us and give us peace, and all the resources in the universe to make it happen....in fact, you have a powerful, rich Father who loves you....rest in this love...
So...I asked my young friend again....knowing how you feel about your children...and basing God's love for you on that...what have you to fear?
What have any of us to fear?