Almost weekly during the school year, my amazingly wonderful 7-year old, Levi, challenges the patient side of my brain just as we are frantically heading out the door at 7:39am (yep – I have our school departure time down to a science): “Daddy – my shoes won’t untie no matter how hard I pull on the string!”
“Bro – dude – Levi Allan – come on man, when are you going to remember that trying to pull a double-knotted shoelace with all your might will only make it worse?” Then he giggles, sheepishly shrugs, and looks at me with that face that I just can’t get enough of…so it’s Operation Shoelace once more. And – we get to see if dad’s head will explode as he tries to get his fingernails to somehow create an opening loose enough to work on what is now a super glued-like shoelace.
It finally gets worked out, we get in the minivan, make it to school on time, and along the way Levi recalls the stories of how many things he does that are “funny”, naughty, goofy, and “breaky” (his term for when he breaks stuff). Then he typically ends it with “I’m so glad mommy and daddy love me and the fun things I do can’t change that.”
And he’s so right – my go to phrase when trouble has come upon my kids (and Levi might hear it the most) is “just so you know once again, my love for you can’t be undone.” The reality of that truth is based fully in the unconditional love my Father has for me (for you). Obviously, I’m imperfect, even in loving my kids whom I adore. So I’ll do my best, trust God to grow and teach me, and trust Him more to guard their hearts as they grow up in this messed up world.
The reason I can trust Him is because God has never failed – never failed me, never failed you, never failed loving the worst we can imagine. It’s who He is. In fact, He came through for us when we couldn’t have cared less, when we were doing our own things, and when we were pointing the finger at Him. It’s exactly what we read in Romans 5:8 – “God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”
Think about it: at your most insane, when you were living in a way that would get you locked up – Jesus put His life on the block for you. You did nothing right – I earned nothing by my behavior – and Jesus chose me.
And if that’s not enough, every single time I screw up, His love just pours out for me – to me, to you. He’s this perfect Father who loves me so much more than my thoughts could ever think up and my dreams could ever dream up.
So – No matter how many times you purposely or ignorantly pull on that shoestring and mess something up, His love for you can’t be undone!
And like Levi, the more you live in the reality of this truth, the more you will believe it to be true. And there’s a lot of joy and freedom in that.