Sunday, January 01, 2012
Today's guest devotion comes from Kristin Billerbeck. It's an excerpt from Delight Yourself in the Lord, Even on Bad Hair Days, © 2011 Summerside Press
Do NOT Pull!
We love because He first loved us.
1 John 4:19
If you have ever talked to a mother about how she felt when her first child was born, you’ll hear words like, “I never knew I could love anyone this much.”
Love for our children is beautiful and unconditional, even when others question our devotion. Once, when…ahem!...someone’s three sons were all under five years of age, our new church decided to have its first ever Christmas brunch before service to celebrate our first holiday season as a “family” with fellowship and food.
What a beautiful picture of Christ’s love, right?
Now…imagine, if you will, a five-year-old boy who sees the pretty red plate on the wall, and can read the sign that says DO NOT PULL. His four-year old-brother also understands the meaning of RED. Both older brothers know instinctively that, if they pull this lever, they will be in big trouble.
However, if they talk their darling little two-year old brother into pulling it, that wouldn’t be so bad, would it? And here’s the beauty part: They get to see what will happen and won’t be responsible.
Just as people begin to sit down, brunch is interrupted by the piercing wail of the fire alarm, which does not stop until the fire department arrives twenty minutes later and charges their mother $150 to turn off the alarm. And now everyone has evacuated the first, and incidentally the only, Christmas brunch.
Let me just say that the organizers of this brunch were not happy. My family was not feeling the unconditional love of Christ in those moments; instead, they were feeling consequences of sinful actions. And trust me, the boys knew what they were doing was wrong, or they wouldn’t have talked their little brother into doing it for them!
Times like this inspire me to think about how God must want to drop His head into His hands over and over again at my foibles. He must think, “I know she knows better!” And He probably shakes His head and wonders if I’m ever going to get it. Just like I know my son’s great ability to lead others can have a dark side, God knows my own weaknesses. I like to believe He cheers for me when I do the right thing and pass it on to my own children.
Sometimes, the ability to love is not easy, but I think that’s why God shows us what it looks like. When we see the good and the bad in others, and sometimes ourselves, we are seeing people as God sees them: in love. Not perfect, but worthy of love.
Today’s Prayer:Dear Jesus, thank You for creating me as You did with a sinful nature, but a heart to do rightly. Help me to find my way in this world, to do Your will, and forgive myself and others as easily as You forgive me. When it’s time to get up and try again, be with me today in Your Strength. Amen.
Kristin Billerbeck is a best-selling author of over 30 novels and novellas. She is a Christy award nominee, a two-time ACFW Book of the Year winner and the author of What a Girl Wants. When not writing, Kristin is generally hovering over her four children and hanging out in Silicon Valley coffee shops. Visit her website at www.KristinBillerbeck.com