“I hate you mummy” my daughter sobbed, “I hate you” as she ran off down the hall.
“Why darling?” I followed her into her bedroom. “Why do you hate me? Hate’s a pretty strong word to use.”
“’Cos you don’t love me” was the answer.
I set about trying to explain to Melanie that although I had told her off it didn’t mean I did not love her anymore. She had been wrong in misbehaving and because I did care for her and loved her, and was frightened that she might do herself some harm, then this was the reason for my anger and for admonishing her.
We ended up hugging one another and all was forgiven.
I reflected on this episode later and it occurred to me that, as God’s children, we too are sometimes guilty of thinking that God doesn’t love us. Particularly when our self-esteem is very low or when we’ve done something we know to be wrong. If we don’t love ourselves then how can someone as perfect as God possibly love us? After all, He can see inside us and know what’s there, just as we know what is within ourselves. We cannot hide it from Him. And often we don’t like what we see and know is there.
Just as we love our children even when they do wrong, then so does He love us.
This was the reason for His sending us Jesus. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life, John 3:16, NIV. So that we would know He loves us. So that we would once again have the opportunity in life that was first given us at the beginning of time. Before the first sin was committed. A life full of love and beauty and now, forgiveness. All because God loves us.