|A Tale of a Two Fathers
Once there were two fathers. Each of whom had a son. These fathers both had money, prestige, power, and influence. They both loved their sons dearly. So much so, that they would do anything for them.
By and by, each son got into trouble with the law, and ended up in jail with charges pending against him.
Father number one, loved his son dearly. Though his son was clearly guilty, he used all of his money, prestige, power, and influence to get the charges dropped. His son came out of jail proclaiming what a wonderful father he had. His crime was small (in his own eyes) and his father had overlooked his crime, and taken steps to get him released. "What a wonderful Father I have," he declared.
Father number 2, loved his son dearly. His son was clearly guilty. And though it grieved him to do it, he decided his son was best served by staying in jail and facing the consequences of his crime. His son became angry at his father. His crime had been small (in his own eyes). Why can my father not overlook my crime, and use his money, prestige, power, and influence to get me released? "What a cruel, heartless, unforgiving, and condemning father I have," he declared.
Which of the two fathers showed his son the purest love?
What did it cost each father to show it?
Which of the two sons received the purest love?
What did it cost each son to receive it?
I believe the point of this story will be obvious to most. That the best and purest love we receive from God our Father doesn't always look like, or feel like, the love we desire to receive from Him.
Many will demand that God love them according to their own definition of love. And anything outside their definition of love, they then declare, is not love.
But too often the expression of love that we demand from God would circumvent the purer love that God, in his great love, bestows upon us.
God will love us with the purest expression of love even if it makes us uncomfortable and even at the risk of losing our love for Him.
Our eternal good is more important to God than our temporal feelings and physical comforts.
Heb 12:6-10b "For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives. It is for discipline that you must endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness."