Jen’s Gem: Nothing can change God’s love for you.
When I graduated college, my parents gave me the choice of paying off my student loans or buying me a new car. Now before you think our last name was Rockefeller, I graduated college long before the tuition prices of today. Naturally I chose the car.
On the day of my graduation, we drove back to my grandparent’s house to celebrate. There in the driveway was my reward for four years of studying, tests, and research papers. A shiny gold car with a big red bow on top. My father handed me the keys and I was beaming.
As my boyfriend and I drove my new car back home to Long Island, I felt a sense of gratitude and love for my parents who supported me over my college years and were there to celebrate my accomplishment.
Fast forward a few weeks later. I was out about town doing errands and decided to take a short-cut home. It was a beautiful day, the windows were open, and the radio was blaring. I came to an intersection, slowed down, and saw a car coming from the left. Completely unaware of the stop sign in front of me, I mentally thought – “they’d better slow down or they’re going to hit me.” Well, they didn’t slow down. And they did hit me.
When I awoke from what was likely a brief blackout from hitting the steering wheel, my radio was still blaring. I realized I’d been in an accident and quickly shut it off thinking the police officer would blame me for being too distracted to see the stop sign.
It’s Just a Car
The next thing I remember is that I was in a hospital bed. My father was next to me and told me I had a mild concussion and would stay overnight. He told me my car was totaled. I thought he’d be angry with me. I thought he’d be disappointed in me. I thought he’d yell at me. He did none of those things. He said, “It’s just a car.”
Unbeknownst to me, my dad took care of all of the typical “accident details” like settling the insurance claims and talking with the police, etc. I knew nothing of any of it. My dad swooped in and cleaned up my mess. He even took me car shopping when I recovered. He also convinced the town that the stop sign, hidden behind an overgrown tree, needed to be replaced. To this day, a huge stop sign is firmly planted at that intersection. The only one in that area.
In a few days, my dad will turn 95. His physical health is declining and he’s no longer able to swoop in and take care of anything for me. But I have more memories than I can count of him fixing my many mistakes. More importantly, I have the memories of him never judging me for them. What a combination!
Never once did he ever make me feel badly for doing something stupid. Oh, I’m not saying he didn’t point out that my decisions were not the best – but he didn’t blame me for them. He didn’t stop loving me. Ever.
This is exactly how God works. He gives us gifts we may or may not deserve. He fixes our b-zillion mistakes. He never judges us. He loves us unconditionally. Just as there’s no way my dad’s love for me will end, neither will God’s love for me – and you too. It is an impossibility.
Of course, we can choose to end it at any time. That’s why God gave us free will. We can choose to love and serve Him, or not. We can choose to have a personal relationship with Him, or not. The decision is totally ours.
God’s Love Is For All Who Want It
I’ve seen the power in my life because of my decision to love God. I’ve seen miraculous things happen for me and my loved ones because of my faith in Him. Sure – bad stuff happens too but that’s life. I’m not going to walk away when things get tough. My dad didn’t. My dad didn’t leave me in that hospital bed and say, “This is your fault. You made a mistake. I don’t love you anymore.” Quite the opposite.
That’s what God does every day. He loves us through our mistakes, through our wavering faith, through our indecision. He doesn’t know how to do anything else.
I’m beyond grateful for the love of my earthly and heavenly Father. And while there may come a day when my dad is no longer here, his love, like God’s, will be with me forever.
I’d like to encourage you this week to contemplate the enormous love that God has for you. If you’re not sure of it, ask Him to show you. If you have a challenge that needs His “swoop in and fix it” ability, ask for it. I guarantee He’ll take care of it for you.
He may even wrap it all up in a big red bow and hand you the keys.