There is a precious little girl that I have the opportunity to hang out with every Monday afternoon through House of Faith.
Her name is Adeline. I have watched her grow over the past 2 years--from a 1 year old to a 3 year old. A little girl that once knew very few words is now a talking machine. It has been a privilege and an honor to watch her grow.
I have always seen Adeline as the most innocent, precious little girl. And I still see her that way. But today was a little different for me.
Adeline was playing with another little girl and the other girl stole her toy. Adeline then called her a not so nice word multiple times. My heart stopped for a second, because a little girl that was suppose to be so pure said something that was not honorable or loving at all. Adeline then proceeded to be mean to this other girl. I told Adeline to apologize and she grudgingly in a huff, said, "Sorry!"...obviously, she didn't really mean it. When I told Adeline to say it nicer, she called me a different not so nice word and marched off.
Reflecting on this occurrence form today, I couldn't help but think of the relationship we have with our Father in heaven. From before we were ever born, he knew us. He has been watching us grow this whole time. He loves us so much and knows us so much better than I could ever love or know Adeline.
It really did pain me and hurt my heart just a little bit to witness how precious little innocent Adeline interacted today. How much more does it hurt our Father God whenever we fail?
He so often nudges us to correct the motives of our heart, like I had to correct how Adeline apologized to the other girl today--and instead of turning around and reacting in a loving manor, Adeline reacted rudely towards me. How many times does our loving Father gently nudge us into a greater relationship with his son and we rudely turn the other direction? I'm sure that pierces our Father's heart.
But what happened next in the story with Adeline is my favorite. After she walked away in a huff, she came running back into my arms. She sat with me during the bible lesson. She even fell asleep in my arms and I rocked her as she slept for the majority of the lesson time.
Isn't this such a beautiful picture of how our Father loves us?
No matter what we do.
No matter how much we mess up.
No matter the motives of our heart.
Our Father's love for us is unconditional. We can always run back to him. We can never run too far away. His love is constant. His love is never changing. And not only is he always accepting us back into his arms, but we can find rest, and comfort-->rest and comfort enough to gently fall asleep in his arms.
After the bible lesson was over and Adeline woke up, she apologized to me--in a very nice and loving way.
You see, the Father's unconditional love has that affect on us. Whenever He so lovingly wraps us in his arms and we find shelter and rescue in Him--we can't help but try to make our relationship right with Him--and that flows out of what we do.
Adeline gave me just a small glimpse of who God is today.
Working with children as precious as these helps me to see the heart of the Father.