One day, I was busy working on my computer when my son stumbled into the room with a handful of toys. He was ready to play, but I really didn’t want to be disturbed at that time. I had so many things to take care of.
“Caleb? Would you please go into your room and play?”
Instead of responding to my request, he just plopped down and began to play. I was quick to respond. “Caleb!” I said with a stern voice. His eyes instantly shifted to mine. He knew from the tone of my voice that he had done something wrong.
When I looked into his eyes, my heart melted. Just by raising my voice slightly, I had pinched his tender heart. His eyes expressed the hurt, the condemnation. I quickly got up and started talking with Caleb. I wanted to make things right with him.
Afterwards, I wondered how God, my Father, would have handled a situation like that. How would he deal with outright rebellion to a command? Would he raise his voice? Would he knowingly hurt me with piercing words?
No. I don’t think he would.
God is a caring Father, full of compassion and mercy, delicately approaching his children. His voice is tender and gentle–a voice of love–not harsh or condemning. I’m not saying that God does not punish his children, for he disciplines those he loves (Proverbs 3:12a). But when you fail, your Father woos you and draws you back to him. He doesn’t bite back with devastating words. He wants you to come and sit in his lap and talk about what happened.
“Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool” (Isaiah 1:18).
Your Father invites you to talk with him about your mistakes and failures. Tell him your needs, your desires, your weaknesses. Share you heart, and he will share his.
Prayer: Father, thank you that you gently correct me, that you invite me to come to you and share my heart. Help me to treat others with this same tender love.