Growing UP May 2012

God loves us in spite of us. He is there for us no matter what. He loves us with all of His heart.

Safety in God's Love

Alexis A. Goring

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NIV).

One Sabbath, as I was sitting at the welcome desk in my church’s main lobby, I noticed a grandmother taking care of her grandson, who couldn’t be more than a year old. The boy became fidgety and started wandering around the lobby, his grandma trying to keep up with him. What I noticed most poignantly was that whenever the child meandered too close to the marble stairs leading to the basement, the grandmother’s steps quickened, and she used her body to block the boy from certain danger. But true to his adventurous personality, he continued to rush for the stairs. She blocked him several times, redirecting his footsteps toward safety, hindering him from a potential catastrophe.

This dance of danger versus safety continued for about five minutes until the young child fell, but right at the edge of the stairs. His sweet grandmother bent over to take his little hands into her weathered, yet soft clasp and helped him back to his feet. Undaunted by his mishap and resting on the assurance that his grandma had his back, the young grandson raced toward the opposite end of the lobby with his grandmother watching his every step.

This scene reminds me of how God relates to us. He blocks us from certain danger on a daily basis. He continually watches over us and guides us in the right direction, taking care of us so that we do not fall into sin or danger. But when we do fall, when we do mess up, He’s right there by our side to pick us up, lead us back to safety, and to place us on the right track again.

A voice-over excerpt from a video strongly illustrates this point: “The whole point of the cross is that you’re going to fail, and you’re going to stumble, and you’re going to feel dirty, and you’re going to feel awkward. The whole point of the cross of Christ is there be this mighty picture of His love and pursuit of you, despite you. So the cross is necessary because of you, but it’s also the picture we have of just how far God is willing to go because He loves you. You’ve got to understand God’s deep and abounding love for you.”*

God loves us in spite of us. He is there for us no matter what. He loves us with all of His heart.

When Adam and Eve fell into sin, God stepped in with the promise of a Savior, who in the fullness of time, would come into this world to set us free and give us the hope of being reunited with Him again. God doesn’t leave us broken when we fall; He paves a way to restore us to whom He created us to be.

Just like the grandmother who carefully guarded her grandson from danger, God is fighting against the devil from destroying us eternally. Satan may be the ruler of this world, but God is still in control of human affairs, and He wants us all to be saved by choosing Him. What He will not do is choose for us; that is our own decision. But His longing desire is for His children to follow Him because they want to, not because He is making them to without their consent.

God is merciful, but His mercies will not last forever. There will be a time when He says enough is enough. “Let the one who does wrong continue to do wrong; let the vile person continue to be vile; let the one who does right continue to do right; and let the holy person continue to be holy” (Rev. 22:11, NIV). Only God knows the time of His return. This shouldn’t cause us to procrastinate and “live it up.” Rather, it should be a reason to rejoice and witness to others through word and action. We have been called to prepare people, and with God’s help, to pick them up and show them the right road to take. God has created us for His glory with the hope and promise of eternity. Let us let God take us there.
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* YouTube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mqwme_RizEc (accessed April 23, 2012).