My dad’s been living in Heaven for 5 years now, but I sometimes find myself apologizing to him. There were things he taught me to do that he was very specific about and when I find myself not doing them “his” way I often blurt out an apology to him.
For example, Dad had a thing for mowing lawn. There was a specific way it had to be done, always blow the grass toward the grass you’ve already mowed, go past the end before turning down the other side in order to keep the lines straight, and never, never drive horizontally through a vertical line you’ve just mowed. He was VERY picky and it didn’t matter how many years of experience I had, if I didn’t do it his way (the “right” way) he was out there telling me how to correct what I had done wrong. The other day I was backing up on a section of lawn I’d just mowed and went really, really crooked & wavy. As I looked at where I had been I found myself saying, “sorry Dad” and then chuckled to myself. I’ve come to appreciate how Dad felt about mowing lawn, but even more than that how he never gave up on believing that eventually I’d get it right.
I have been very blessed to have two parents who always believed in me and never let my failures and mistakes keep them from loving me. I’m not saying they never got angry with me. Sometimes it was scary to admit my wrongs to them and wonder what the repercussions would be, but their anger or disappointment never made me question whether or not they loved me. Through the childish fights with my sister in our emotional teenage years and through countless times of messing up (even putting a Bobcat bucket through the wall of the barn) they always forgave me and helped me move on to make a situation right or find success in spite of my failures. I realize this is a blessing many people don’t experience.
This sense of security and unconditional love didn’t always carry over to my relationship with the Lord. When I gave my life to Him as a young child I worried that He would stop loving me if I messed up. Every sin I committed made me drop to my knees, not only asking His forgiveness but asking again for His salvation. I was afraid that if I messed up enough I would not be allowed into Heaven.
The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.
The Lord is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.
Psalm 145: 8-9
The bible speaks of God being slow to anger at least nine times – three of them in the Psalms. God is compassionate to us. It’s hard sometimes to believe that no matter how may times we mess up He is still waiting to forgive us. He never stops loving us and will not sever His relationship with us because of something we’ve done. However, it is up to us to go to Him and ask forgiveness, accept that forgiveness and draw close to Him once again.
Do you feel far from God? Does it seem right now that you can’t do anything right and your failures are bigger than your successes?
I encourage you to set aside your feelings and look for the truth of God’s word.
Here are some examples:
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” Jeremiah 31:3
It seems almost too simple. To believe that every time we mess up – no matter how big or small we believe the sin is, all it takes is for us to say, “sorry Dad” to God. Through the incredible love He has for us he will forgive us every time.
Take this promise to heart today. Let the truth of it bring joy to your heart and peace to the puzzle of your life today.
Blessings and peace to you today…