In the Bible, Matthew, Mark and Luke talks about the importance of coming to God as a little child. We know this is important to God. For that reason, I want to share something with you from the life of Brailee, my four-year-old granddaughter. This action is not exclusive to Brailee, Bryson did the same thing and I have heard many many children respond in this way. What am I talking about? Let me share!
As with all children, Brailee at times gets in trouble or misbehaves. Just this past week, she did something her mom had told her not to do. Breanne reprimanded Brailee and Brailee cried and immediately ran to Breanne. Breanne said ‘no, I am not petting you.’
Now, I have done this many times in my life, with Breanne as a child, with Bryson and with Brailee, when they misbehaved in some way, but this day God was showing me something. Brailee ran from her Mom and ran to me. I wrapped my arms around her and said ‘Brailee you have to obey Mom, you have to listen honey, but Nana loves you.’
After that instance, this scene kept returning to my mind over and over again. I knew God was trying to tell me something. A few days later I was talking with a friend and she shared how her child would do this as well when they were small.
I began to pray and ask God to help me to understand what He was showing me.
Brailee knew she had done wrong, she knew she deserved the punishment for it, she took the reprimand but she wanted forgiveness and she wanted to know she was still loved. Isn’t it amazing that children do this? They get in trouble yet they run to the very one who has the power to correct them. Parents, this is important.
When they run to you they are seeking forgiveness, do not withhold it. I am not saying to pet your children when they have done wrong – but I am saying love them through it.
As adults, most of the time, when we are in trouble, when we have done something wrong, when we have disappointed God, we run FROM Him, not to Him. It should not be this way.
Instead we should be just like Brailee, take the correction and run quickly into the arms of the one who can restore and forgive.
1 John 1:9 says; If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
God never holds our sin over our head, instead He is faithful to forgive and cleanse us – oh how I love that word! I have clung to this very scripture over and over again in my life. He loves me so that even when I mess up, He opens wide His arms and I run into them, seeking His forgiveness and becoming enveloped in His cleansing love.
When you make a mistake, when you feel you have disappointed God, run to Him. Picture little Brailee running into the arms of those who love her and then do the same, run into the arms of the One who loves you, He will not turn you away.
When do we learn to NOT run into the arms of God? I believe it is when we have been disappointed by people, turned away by people, and when those we feel we need comfort and forgiveness from, refuse to give it to us and instead make us pay for what we have done. We have all been there. On both ends of it.
Has someone ever hurt you and you in turn gave them a cold voice, a silent treatment or made sure they know you are angry? That’s making them pay. I know it is not always easy to welcome someone who has hurt you with arms wide open – I know this to be true however, this is exactly what God does for each of us and if this is His way of doing things, then it is certainly something we should work at attaining to, don’t you think?
Before I was born again I was like that and even after I was born again, it took me many years to work some things out of my life. Out of my heart. The ‘old me’ could injure with a look and cut like a knife with a few words. I don’t want to be that person anymore and these days my spirit cringes within me when I hear a wife or husband talk to each other in a hateful tone. I cringe when I hear a parent speak to a child or reprimand a child without love in their voice.
Hurt people will hurt people. It’s a truth. The first thing we must do is ask God to heal the hurts in our heart and teach us to be people who can forgive. Teach us to be people whose first response is not anger, but compassion. Not judgement but mercy. In other words, we become more like Jesus. Loving like He loves. Then when we mess up or do wrong, we will quickly run to God. And when others do us wrong, we will be able to look at them with arms…and hearts…wide open, welcoming them into a place of forgiveness. That, my friend, is the heart of God.
Kim Potter

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