Butterfly Sparks Designs

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


I have a friend who is a wonderful father to his children. His heart is contagiously passionate in its pursuit of God, and his vision for his relationship with his children is that it would reflect the person of God to them. It’s good stuff, and what a precious gift it is to his kids. Not long ago, during one of our long chats about everything under the sun, he said something that stuck with me.

He said that he knows when his parenting is “off” by his children’s reactions when they mess up. For example, when one of them spills something, do they immediately and urgently look to him to see what his response will be? Do their faces show fear? Do they tense up when they make a mistake or fail?

My friend explained that if his child looks to him immediately with fear or tension when they “mess up”, then he knows he is off track and outside of the type of father/child relationship he wants them to have with him, so that they can better understand…Him.  So that they can experience grace, the freedom to “be” the whole of who they are in his presence. That way, the transition to understanding their Heavenly Father isn’t so foreign.  

He’s teaching them that it’s not about performance. It’s about grace.

That is an incredibly powerful illustration. Because I don’t see God that way sometimes. When I mess up, I often tense up and look to Him with fear instead of vulnerability and trust. I view him in the human perspective (narrow and shallow), and not as the God who welcomes His prodigal daughter Home, arms wide open…




I know that God wants me to run to him when I mess up. I know the verses. I have the education. Heck, I could probably teach the class. But that’s all just useless knowledge if I don’t really believe that it's all true.

Far too often, I feel as though I will offend Him by entering His presence dirty, ashamed, trust-lacking, and empty. The Father of Lies whispers to me that I am separated from Him and I am excluded. I am ashamed. Guilty. 

Just as a little girl who spills her milk, when I spill out my sin, many times I am more compelled to run to Fear instead of running to the One who is Mercy for help.  For healing. For the forgiveness so freely given.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:1).  So if the Son has set you free, then you are free indeed (John 8:36). 

May we experience Jesus as the Grace-Giver.  May our gaze not be fixed on our “spill”, but on the One whose mercy absorbs it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

wow, this really touched me.