(Photo by Lindsay O’Neil)
What I Would Tell That Little Girl About God
By Bonny Lou Dady
When I was a young girl, I had a very mixed up and terrifying view of God. The grownups in my life only spoke of God’s punishment for sinners. About judgement. And the burning fires of hell. I was told that yes, Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sins of all the people in the world. That God, the Father resurrected Him; and He is in heaven now. But I was also told that after I became a Christian, and was baptized as a believer in Christ, I must be very careful to follow all the teachings and rules in my church. To not fail God. That God was an angry and very jealous God. He would not tolerate failure. He would show no mercy if I were to die before confessing and repenting of any sins I’d committed – even though I was believer who’d accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior. Perhaps, I was misunderstanding some of the teaching and preaching……that may be so.But I was a brand new believer at age 16. I had also heard some of my aunts and uncles saying similar things when I was a little girl.
If I could go back in time, and have a conversation with that little girl, I’d tell her just how much, God, her Heavenly Father, truly loves her. That yes, He has been watching over her – but not as an angry judge, just waiting to punish her in the fires of hell. He saw her, even when she was far off from coming to Him in that first prayer of repentance and new belief in Jesus Christ. And He longed to hold her in His loving arms and wipe away her tears. To tell her that He chose her to be His child. That He loves her even more than she could ever imagine. That He, the God who created the Universe and everything in it, wept for her when others were abusing her, to try to ease their own pain. He wept for her when she felt alone and unloved. That He had a wonderful plan for her life, and He rejoiced when she turned her life completely over to Him. Like the father in Jesus’ Parable of the Prodigal Son, God saw her (me!) even when she was still on her way back to Him after failing Him miserably….and He was filled with compassion and mercy and love. He ran towards her and put His arms around her and kissed her on the top of her head! This parable is a wonderful picture of the love of God for His children. Even His wayward children. Read about it in Luke 15:11-32.
I would also tell her that our Heavenly Father is the Father of all compassion and the God of all comfort – who comforts us in all our troubles. 2 Corinthians 2:3a. I would tell her that no matter what other people might say or do to us. No matter what mistakes we make. No matter what sins we struggle with. No matter how much we have failed God, we can still come to Him in prayer and repentance; and He will take us into His loving arms and reminds us that we are His beloved, and to trust Him – everyday. Every moment. That He loves us even more than any human father ever could!