“Weeeeee! Weeeeeee!”, I shouted with joy as I threw my young daughter up in the air, and then would catch her under her arms. Over and over and again I would toss her in the air when I got home from work. We had done this hundreds of times. She absolutely loved it! I’d come home from work and her beautiful blue eyes would glisten from the nearest light and she would run and recklessly jump into my arms with every limb extended and then grip me like a leach when contact was made. She wanted love. She wanted a big hug. She wanted to be tossed in the air, suspended for what probably seemed to be forever. Although she was tossed in the air and had no control of where she landed or how high she went, she knew without a shadow of a doubt that Dad would catch her safely. What a beautiful picture of our Father in Heaven. But this beautiful example turned sour and because it turned sour, it got more beautiful. Let me explain.
I had tossed Holly hundreds of times in the air. I could do it blindfolded, I would joke. Don’t worry, I never did. But one day I tossed her high in the air as usual, but when she was coming down she tucked her arms in instead of spread out. I juggled her with my “sure” hands to no avail. I dropped her. I dropped my princess. She landed on the back of her head and got a concussion. I dropped the princess who saw me as her hero, her Daddy. I was someone she trusted with her life. For a good while she wouldn’t let me toss her. It broke my heart, not because I couldn’t toss her, but because of why I couldn’t toss her. I lost her trust. The man she once trusted with reckless abandonment, now was untrustable. Holly eventually allowed me to toss her again, but it was never the same.
As humans we make mistakes, sometimes lifechanging mistakes, irrevocable and doing permanent damage. We sin and we sin badly. Is there any other way? I told you the story got ugly, but here’s the beautiful part. Although we fail one another because we are imperfect, God never fails us even though we are imperfect. His love and forgiveness isn’t dependent upon our trustworthiness or capabilities or abilities. His love and forgiveness remain and we must choose to be available to receive it.
So the next time you fail or sin and the world seems to judge you or condemn you, remember that God is with you. He won’t leave you or fail you like you’ve failed others. He accepts you regardless of your mistakes and regardless of your sin. You can trust God unlike any human because He’s not human, He’s your perfect Father. Won’t you trust in Him now?
“but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8 (ESV)