My friend Jim Moore sent me this by email and I asked him if I could post it here.
Today I’ve been thinking a lot about that Philies fan who gave the foul ball to his daughter only to see her throw it back on the field. If you haven’t seen the video you should watch it here.
The father, who was attending the Phillies game with his three-year-old daughter, had never caught a foul ball even though he had been attending games since he was three as well. But on this night he caught his first foul ball. As he joyously fist bumped with his fellow fans, he handed the prized ball to his daughter. Who promptly threw the ball away!
What has touched the heart of everyone who saw this video is the beautiful way the father responded to the daughter. Never losing his smile he instantly took her into his arms and told her everything was just fine. What a perfect picture of a father who never, for even an instant, loses sight of what is most important – that his child knows how pleasing and loved they really are.
What I keep thinking of how is that father is like our heavenly Father and how rarely I see God as this kind of father. There is no question that this father did the right thing. Every one of us feels it instantly in our gut as we watch what happens. And we all rejoice when we see the little girl toddle into his arms. We know without explanation that this is what a father should do.
So if it is so elementally right, then it must be a shadow of how our Father acts in right relationship with the Spirit and the Son and any adopted child who enters into that relationship. Could it be that this is how God reacts to me as I stumble through my days here on earth? Is it possible that as I struggle to do the right thing – and cluelessly fail over and over again – the Father is smiling at me and waiting to take me into His arms?
In one way I am just like that three year old. Every day the Father gives me blessings and experiences and I blithely throw them away not knowing what they cost or even what they mean. But if what the Bible says is true then nothing ever can separate me from the love of Christ.
In another way I am totally different from her. As soon as things got confusing she went straight into her father’s arms. She didn’t even know what she had done. She didn’t try to fix it. She didn’t promise to do better, read a book, join a group, or make a new chart. I am prone to do all those things. But maybe my Father wants me to run to Him first and dwell in his love instead of trying to fix what I don’t even understand and can never fix.
Ask yourself how you feel about God. When you blow it do you see a God utterly pleased with you who deeply loves you and wants you in His arms immediately? Or does your image of God involve a stern father who cares more about your behavior than your little heart?
Do any of us have any idea how thrilled with us the God of the Bible really is? I really hope we learn soon.