I smiled when I saw the young man and his tiny daughter walk through the doors of the local swimming pool. She looked to be about three years old and was chatting happily and non-stop as she held her daddy's hand. A horde of kids had arrived just a few minutes earlier so I assumed he was there to watch the little one's older sibling. They headed for the observation area and I went back to checking email on my iphone while I waited for a friend. A little while later they emerged again. The little girl was still chattering as she raced for the door but her dad called her back to put her jacket, hat and mittens on before going outside.
He sat her on the bench opposite me. He put her hat on. She pulled it off. He put a mitten on. She pulled it off. She was chattering like a little squirrel the whole time, and he was hmmm-ing and aha-ing as he patiently put her hat on again. She reached up to tug it off but he caught her hand and managed to get a mitten on it. Then he scooped her into his arms before she could pull anything else off and headed for the doors to the outside world.
It was a delight to watch that dad and his little one. Love personified, I thought. He was patient, he was kind, he was selfless in his actions. Just like our Heavenly Father. And we are so much like that little girl.
We are self-centred and wilful, wanting our own way and often trying to undo what God is trying to accomplish in our lives, even though it is always for our own good and protection. That little one took her dad for granted, as all tiny children do. We too often do the same. We assume God's care and protection are there, while all the while following our own agenda and often rejecting his direction. How often we must try His patience!
But even though that little one was disobeying him, that dad kept smiling and nodding and letting his daughter prattle on. Because he loves her. She's his little girl and nothing will ever change that. This too is a picture of our Heavenly Father and His unconditional love for His children. Though we test and try Him, He never gives up on us, never stops loving us.
The writer of the book of Lamentations wrote: "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."
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