“I – yes, I alone – will blot out your sins for my own sake, and will never think of them again.” – Isaiah 43:25
I think one of the reasons that God gave me a son was to give me a better lens to view my relationship with Him through. I often think He gave me a son to provide me better context and understanding when it comes to things like love, sin, and forgiveness.
I’ve always struggled with the idea of forgiveness. I’ve always struggled to believe that God really can and does forgive all of my mistakes, both past and present. I mean, I do believe it in one sense… theologically it all adds up… But I often don’t believe it enough to to live in it… to enjoy it… to feel it’s freedom.
The above verse from Isaiah not only makes theological sense but it makes emotional sense too when viewed through that precious lens of having a child. God doesn’t want to forgive me for simply my own sake… He wants to forgive me for HIS sake as well.
My 13-year-old son is a wonderful boy who I couldn’t possibly love anymore, yet, like me, he is prone to make mistakes, (as he sprints his way into becoming a teenager, this fact is becoming evermore evident). However, we generally enjoy a wonderful relationship. I feel that we have a unique bond and that the time I get to spend with him is one of life’s most precious gifts. I love him and enjoy him deeply.
That’s why when he does have the inevitably slip up, when he does break one of my rules, the most devastating consequences isn’t that he’s broken a rule, it’s that he put a sort of static on the line of our relationship. When he knowingly or unknowingly violates one of our house rules, the worst part is that we have a bump in the road of what would otherwise be a perfect and peaceful union.
I don’t care about his mistakes as much as I care about the damage done to our relationship.
That’s why I cannot wait for him to apologize. When he recognizes that he has done wrong, and he takes the initiative to ask for forgiveness, not only does it clear up the static on the line of our relationship, it’s also a most joyous moment (although consequences may still follow). When forgiveness is asked for and received, our relationship grows ever more substantive and real. I’m not mad because he messed up. I am thrilled that he loves me enough to want to mend and grow our relationship.
That’s why God says he longs to forgive us for HIS sake. We’ve put static on the line of a relationship that He cares about and longs to enjoy, the same way I long to enjoy my son.
God has equity in the relationship. The cost was extremely high.
So when we do mess us, He longs deeply for that relationship to be mended. He’s not mad that we’re fallible. Indeed, He knows that much (see the Cross). He’s thrilled that He’s able to forgive us! He’s thrilled that we’ve taken the initiative to clear up the static on the line and remove the bumps in the road of our relationship.
That’s why the author of Hebrews asks us to go boldly to the Throne of Grace. Not only do we have a vested interest in mending our relationship with God, God does too. Just like I long for the relationship with my son to be healed when it’s been damaged, God does as well. He longs to forgive us and remember our mistakes no more… Not only for our sake, but for His sake too.