When a Child Turns Back

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When a Child Turns Back

“And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers;”

-Malachi 4:6

Something wonderful happened to our family this year.  God bestowed upon us a beautiful baby girl and we named her Sophie.  It was such a God adventure and I would want to write about it one day.  But today, I am convicted to tell a simple story about a parent’s heart.

Life has been so busy with our newborn baby.  She would wake up every 3 hours to feed, change, cuddle and be soothed.  Above that, I have to manage a law firm remotely.  Even with help from my husband, days would just fly by with my hair uncombed and my clothes unwashed.  I can slightly relate to John the Baptist’s hairstyle and fashion now!

Jokes aside, what happened was that I let motherhood and busyness take over my relationship with Jesus.  With all the seemingly reasonable excuses, I rationalized my actions every time I skipped my daily devotional, sermons and time with God.  I thank my home church for being there for me every Sunday to remind me of the one whom I am supposed to love above all – God.

The funny thing is, even when you turn away from God, He will always be there, waiting for you.  One Sunday, our Sophie had a baby meltdown the whole morning.  She is usually such a good baby so the fact that I couldn’t figure out why she was so upset ended up frustrating me so much that I lost my cool.

During worship at our home church, I felt guilty because my heart was not in it.  I started to feel ashamed for being so disconnected with God because He has provided for our family tremendously with joy, blessings and love.  I thought,

“The fact that I haven’t had quiet time with God for a month has finally caught up with me.  It’s been too long now. I officially feel disconnected from God.”

I placed Sophie into the her bassinet vertically and had her facing the group as I sat next to her right side.  As my brothers and sisters in Christ worshipped, I closed my eyes and my heart started to cry out for intimacy with my Father God again. When I opened my eyes, something happened.  My newborn baby Sophie, who was so angry the whole morning, had somehow managed to kick herself all the way around in order to move herself from vertical position to a horizontal position just so that so could face me and smile.  At that moment, all the frustration I had with her disappeared.  Not only did I forgive her, but I had completely forgotten about what she did to make me so frustrated.  My heart just melted when I saw my baby use so much effort to turn towards me just so that she could see me.

At that time, a still small voice in my heart convicted me that our God’s heart is the same.  His heart melts and is filled with love the moment His child turns towards Him no matter how difficult the child has been or how long the child has turned her face away from Him.  He not only forgives but the joy of being our Father has made him completely forget.  Feelings of guilt and shame are not from our God.

When our hearts turn back to Him, all He wants is to embrace us like how I immediately embraced my baby girl with love.  I thank God for the privilege of being a parent as I now have a deeper understanding of my heavenly Father’s heart for me.  Through motherhood, God has revealed to me that the grace of our Father is so wide it covers multitudes of wrongs and that it is never too late to turn back.

Image Credit: Flickr/Artetesia