This may not be a revelation to anyone who is a parent, and I can’t imagine how much more my understanding will grown once Cole is actually here, but just being pregnant and comparing my feelings for this baby to what God feels for us as his children has deepened my understanding of Him by leaps and bounds.
One of these revelations came a week or so ago. I was reading in one of my devotion books about how when we make mistakes and realize what we’ve done, God doesn’t want us to go around and beat ourselves up about it. Instead, he wants us to repent and return to living in a close relationship with him. At first I thought that was crazy. Despite the cross, I couldn’t grasp that he would just forgive me like that and welcome me back.
Then I got to thinking about Cole. If he did something wrong and came and said he was sorry for it, it would be ludicrous for him to think I desired him to beat himself up to “pay” for the mistake. Yes, in some cases he would need disciplined, but self inflicted guilt and mental beatings would never be a part of that. Instead, the minute he turned around and chose to stop his misbehaving, I would immediately welcome him back with open arms. Like the Prodigal Son’s father, I would be waiting for him.
How often do we forget that God is the same? More than the same, since he loves us with a love that is far beyond that of a parent and child. I am so bad at failing to grasp even a corner of that kind of love. One that so desires a relationship that all else falls away when we chose to live in that relationship. I have a feeling, though, that through this parenting journey we’re about to begin, my understanding of just what it means to be God’s child will deepen daily.