Sin. It is a hard concept for many to grasp. At its core, it is a rebellion against God. Putting yourself in the driver’s seat and not God. Fundamentally, it is a break in the relationship. Often I find that more and more Christians have a problem understanding not sin, but the grace that comes from forgiveness. As Christians, we understand that we sin and that it is a terrible thing. However, grace and forgiveness is something that we often need to be reminded that we have. It is in contemplating the relationship between sin and grace, that I am reminded of my son.
When babies start to learn to crawl, it does not happen overnight. Believe it or not, crawling takes a lot of build up. Their back ends might start moving before their arms, causing them to collapse in the front. Other times they may start dragging themselves across the floor because they haven’t mastered moving their legs yet. When my son learned to get up on all fours and started to crawl for a solid week he was stuck in what I call “revving the engine.” He would just rock back and forth, forward and backward, without moving as if he was preparing to go forward.
Of course, once a child learns to crawl the parents prepare to teach and help the child start to walk. Again, walking does not happen overnight. The child has to learn to stand up on their own. They begin by using different objects around the house to stand and move around. When they do begin to walk, they spend a lot of time falling down.
In all of this process of beginning to crawl and walk, never once do the parents look at each other and say, “well they tried to crawl and they failed. I guess this one is defective and needs to be thrown out.” The parents never think that the child has failed and therefore belongs in the garbage. Instead, they comfort the child and help them to try again. They will continue to help the child until they walk fine on their own. To take the point further even if the child is ten years old, trips, and falls down, the parents don’t immediately think the child is defective and should be abandoned. No, again the parent patches up the child and helps them walk again.
If God is our heavenly Father, why do we assume that he is more like the parents willing to throw the child out for not learning to walk? If our God is a loving God, then shouldn’t he be more like the parents who continue to help, encourage, and teach the child?
I believe God is like the latter parents. I believe that when we repent we are truly forgiven. Jesus understands it is not easy to be human. To be swayed by temptations because he too is human and lived, and was tempted, and suffered as we do. Even though in this scenario, Jesus walked and crawled easily and never tripped, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t know the struggle of how hard it is to walk. We have a God who is abounding in grace, mercy, and love. We just need to believe, that our Father would not throw us in the garbage. Instead, he truly loves us and is for us, so he walks with us, comforts us when we fall, and when we repent, helps us to try and walk again.
My prayer for all who come to BCM, NIU, or people who are following Jesus, is that we would all remember the Father's grace and God's steady loving grace. My hope is that when you feel like your failing when you feel like you have stepped backward in your journey with Christ when you question if God truly loves you, that you would be reminded of the grace of Christ. My wish is for you to remember the Lord sees you as a child who is still learning to walk and also sees you not as the one struggling to walk, but as someone who can walk.