The maid working where I was staying knocked on my door with my flask in one hand and hot water in a jug in another. I quizzically looked at her.. she walked in, kept it on the table and then blurted out (reminding me of an express train), “I will give you the cash, can you buy another flask. I dropped this and it broke”. The flask looked alright to me. She opened it and showed me – I burst out laughing. It was shattered into millions of tiny fragments. She let out a deep breath with a sigh of relief saying I thought you were going to scold me but you are laughing. That got me laughing further and she joined in. I told her not to worry about the cash, that I know the flask wasn’t of good quality. It has been about 3 months since I got this and I had known the inner portion had come separate already. In fact what I didn’t tell her that I hadn’t bought a flask here as I expected this to happen but when I had my asthma attack I was in desperate need of a flask.
Replacing the flask would have cost a big portion of her salary – yes she needs to be more careful as she is a young adult and she surely does have butter fingers – but I couldn’t let her suffer for this mistake. I gently told her to be careful in the future.
On the other hand this reminded me of an incident with a 12 year old boy who came for tuition with his 10 year old sister. This was a number of years ago. What I hadn’t known at the time was that they had come prepared with paper balls to get me annoyed so that they wouldn’t have to come any more but apparently I was too nice they couldn’t get themselves to do it! In addition to that, when they were leaving their first class, the boy’s back pack knocked my vase over. I can never forget that face! He was so scared. My first reaction was motherly instinct I guess – ‘Are you ok dear?’. That just shocked him. Then I told him to make sure he doesn’t tread on the pieces and get hurt – to go round the other way.
He was puzzled. I told him it was just a vase and that can be replaced if necessary. It’s no big deal, accidents happen.
However, I was thinking how often are we like this maid and the young boy? We make a mistake and we are SCARED of approaching God. We think God is going to yell at us or God is going to punish us or God is going to give us the silent treatment… The problem is we often think of God the way people around us have treated us when we do wrong or we think of God the way we treat other people when they have done wrong!
Adam and Eve did that too… Their eyes were opened after they ate the fruit from the forbidden tree, and they REALISED they were naked, they now had the KNOWLEDGE of good and evil. What did they do? They made a covering for themselves with fig leaves and they HID! God called them out and instead of confessing and repenting, they began to shift blame on each other. Eve shifted blamed on the serpent, Adam blamed both Eve AND God (the woman YOU gave me Lord)! But neither of them could bring themselves to say SORRY Lord!
There was only ONE commandment that God had given them and that too was for their own well being but they couldn’t resist it. It was good for food, pleasing to the eye and desirable for wisdom! Eve justified her choice and shared it with her husband. Her husband was right with her and instead of stopping her, ate it along with her. They faced the consequences – they were banished from God’s presence.
I just wonder what would have happened if they accepted their faults and if they had acknowledged their reasoning and mistake and asked for forgiveness?
Today you and I have no excuse! Seriously! Jesus Christ has died on that cross for you and me! The work has been done, His innocent blood shed so that the gap created by sin between us and our Heavenly Father could be bridged through Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit has been left behind with us as Jesus Christ took His rightful place in Heaven after ascending from earth. The Holy Spirit convicts us and sheds light on the errors of our ways, the blood of Christ forgives us and draws us back into intimacy with God.
Just like my heart melted with that fearful look registered on that boy’s face, God’s heart melts when we look at Him with a repentant heart! A broken and contrite heart He will not despise!
Yet when we are stubborn and refuse to admit, repent and make a U-turn we will have to suffer the consequences. That’s our choice – not God’s punishment. And if Jesus Christ comes in the meantime of our stubbornness and disobedience to God, when our hearts are hardened from HIM, that too is the consequences of our own choices!
God does not want any of us to perish.. that’s why He sent His one and only Son who had done no wrong.. that’s how much He loves us. And through that His arms are simply wide open for us to run into even if we have stumbled… All He wants from us is a heart that is yielded to Him, a child like heart that would accept its mistakes instead of pretending or lying or blame shifting. He isn’t going to emotionally manipulate you like the weak humans around you do, He isn’t going to yell at you, He isn’t going to hurt you with silent treatment, He isn’t going to abuse you or use violence, He isn’t going to belittle you for your actions, responses and choices!
His embrace will heal you from all that today if only you will run to Him. He isn’t like all those people around you whom the enemy has used to whisper lies into your heart! NO! He loves you unconditionally. He isn’t going to use your stumbling to push you away! A broken and contrite heart He will not despise. He knows all of us have fallen short of His glory. Yet He says a bruised reed He will NOT crush!! In fact instead He will heal you.
Are you gonna run into His arms today? What is holding you back? He waits to embrace you like a mother hen gathers its chicks under its wings!