“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.”
– Psalm 136:1
Yesterday we talked about how bonding deeply with God and others is a powerful part of experiencing healing and deliverance from our compulsions and self-destructive behaviors. Today, I want to share a story that poignantly illustrates this point.
I heard once about a young girl who for years was bounced around the foster care system. She would go to a home, misbehave, and ultimately do something so bad that the family would kick her out. This happened time and time again…until her day of redemption. Clearly led by God, one particular family took the girl in and immediately told her they were going to adopt her. In fact, they rolled out a contract, changed her name to theirs, and everybody agreed to it and signed it before they put it on the wall as a reminder that she was officially part of their family. While you might expect that her behavior got better when she knew she belonged, the reality is that it got worse. Unfortunately, she began starting fist fights at school, cussing, stealing, and doing horrible things to her siblings. But why would this be? The simple answer is because she was testing her family’s love. She simply couldn’t believe that there was nothing she could do to get them to love her less, so she tried all the harder. However, no matter how bad things got, her parents continued to accept her. They set boundaries, said no, and disciplined her, but they never shamed her, nor were they ever unkind. Ultimately, with time, guidance, and consistency, the little girl was healed as she internalized the unshakable love of her family. As an adult, she tells the story and sums it up by saying that she needed a place where she could be a family member, not a well-behaved guest!
Friend, you are part of the family of God, and like this little girl, you can test and try His love all day long, but you will never change it! You are not a guest in His House or in His presence: you are His chosen child and He welcomes you with loving arms, a posture that isn’t altered when you misbehave, sin, or make mistakes. Once you are convinced that nothing can separate you from His love, you can bask in the safety and security of His wings and spread your own by opening yourself up to others. As you bond deeply with people and live rooted in the steadfastness of your Savior, your life will be changed! Isn’t that wonderful news?
Jesus, thank you for adopting me into your family and receiving me with arms that are always outstretched. I find rest in knowing that nothing I do will separate me from your love.
What do you learn from the story of the little girl in this devotion? How does her journey teach you about the love of God?