When our daughter Becky first learned to ride a motorcycle, my husband Tom let her take his brand new Harley Davidson Sportster to visit a friend.
The friend called a little while later to warn us that Becky had slipped on gravel on a turn at the end of the road, and although she was not hurt, she laid the bike down, and the paint on the gas tank took a good scraping.
When Becky pulled into the garage, we were there to meet her. She got off the bike and took off her helmet. Tears ran down her face and her lips quivered as she looked to her Dad. Before she could tell him what had happened or even that she was sorry, he had his arms around her, telling her she was more precious to him than that bike.
Now I’m not going to tell you he was always that gracious when our kids messed up, but at that moment, he was stellar.
That’s what good fathers do. That’s how God loves us.
There’s no better example of it than the woman caught in adultery. Her story is in John 11. Jesus goes early in the morning to the temple and begins to teach the crowds gathering there.
The Pharisees come on the scene, dragging a distraught woman into the courtyard of the temple where Jesus is teaching. They throw her to the ground at his feet.
4 “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”John 11:4-5
John 11:6 NLT goes on to explain:
6 They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger.
They don’t care about her or even about her sin. They want to put Jesus on the spot, but Jesus ignores them. He stoops down and starts writing something in the dust.
Now picture this poor woman. She was probably barefoot, trying to cover herself, clutching her robes together, her hair unbound, falling in her face and blowing in the slight breeze, her face tear-streaked with dust. She hides behind her curtain of hair, her head hung in shame, humiliated, and terrified.
I always wondered what Jesus was writing in the dust, but most women want to know, “Where is the man?” Why is the woman the only one dragged into this public humiliation? Where is the man who entered into adultery with her? Where is the man, her lover, the one who should be her defender, her rescuer, and protector?
Too many women, every day, find themselves alone and abandoned by the very people, especially the very men, they trusted to love and protect them.
I hope you have never experienced that, but maybe you have. In one way or another, many of us have found ourselves in similar circumstances, accused and condemned, whether true or not, but never the less abandoned by the very persons we trusted to shelter and care for us. That’s where my heart was when Jesus found me.
I felt alone and condemned, thinking no one cared to try and rescue me. We know Jesus got them all when he told them to let him who is without sin cast the first stone. One by one, they dropped their rocks of self-righteousness and arrogance. They all turned away until it was just her and Jesus there in the dust.
Finally, Jesus stands up and asks the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” “No, Lord,” she says. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
Like my husband and daughter the day she laid down his brand new bike, I like to think what would have happened if this girl’s father had come on the scene. If he was a truly loving father, no matter what she had done or anyone accused her of, would he have removed his robe to wrap it around her shoulders? Would he have pulled her to her feet and put his strong arm around her shoulders? Would she have leaned her face into his chest as he led her home?
In essence, that is what Jesus did. Because she was his beloved daughter, he wouldn’t let anyone accuse her or hurt her. He would not let them condemn her, and neither did he condemn her.
Exactly what Jesus did for me….and for you. He first meets our need for love and comfort, and then he deals with our sin.
If we could really grab hold of that, we wouldn’t be so hard on ourselves. We wouldn’t think God was so terribly disappointed in us when we fell down and scraped the paint. When we come to the Father knowing we messed up again, he first wants to take us in his arms and love us for a minute.
Oh, the work will still have to be done. “Go your way and sin no more.” Repairs have to be made. Changes have to take place. Lessons need to be learned, and the paint needs to be redone. But with God, the love comes first, and there will be another day to ride.
The Bible calls Satan the accuser of the brethren. A lot of the condemnation you feel isn’t coming from God at all. It may not even be coming from you! It’s interesting when you really listen to your own self-talk regarding condemnation.
With all the talk these days about pronouns, it should be easy to figure this one out. When the voice in my head is me talking to myself, I use the pronoun, I. As in, “I should not have done that. I wish I hadn’t let that happen. I feel so stupid.” Well, that’s bad enough, but the accuser of the brethren uses different pronouns, “You are so stupid. You messed up again. You should not have let that happen.” Interesting. Who’s doing the accusing here?
Good Fathers always stick up for their kids, and God always sticks up for you!
If you don’t really know that God defines you and defends you, that God sets your price and your value, then you will look to someone else to do it, and that is when you allow others to judge you.
When we don’t fully comprehend our true value in Christ, we compare ourselves to others, and we are then compelled to compete and compare, to try and prove that we are somehow better than that voice in our head tells us we are.
The goal of our lives should not be to be the best or better than someone else or even like someone else. We don’t have to compete or compare ourselves with anyone. It has become an overused pop culture phrase. “You be you.” I agree. You be you, but first, know you are His, and you’ll always know your price is far above rubies.
Why Doesn’t God Just Heal Me
If you like what you’ve seen here, please consider picking up a copy of my book
Why Doesn’t God Just Heal Me – available on Amazon.com
ebook, paperback, and Audible
Having endured an undiagnosed illness for thirty years, I prayed daily for healing and diligently searched the Bible to answer the questions we all ask when faith does not seem to be enough.
With a comprehensive and balanced application of scripture, I address the topic of healing and answer the questions that test our faith.
I remind my self to write for the one, not the one hundred. You are the one, or at least the one who let me know you read it! Didn’t you love the picture of the little girl taking off down the road alone on her little two wheeler? Choked up Tom and Becky both. It said it better than any of my searches for pictures of “woman riding a motorcycle” Love you
Thank you for sharing this. When I saw the title it reminded me of a book I bought, the title escapes me right now but basically it was what good fathers do. The title has words like; Good fathers… good daughters. My father was just present in the home without engaging with us children. I bought that book for one reason; so I could read what good fathers are supposed to do and so I could then pray and forgive my father for not doing those things. Not doing things or not really ‘being there’ for someone, who needs you in their life, whom God has entrusted into your care, is neglect. I will call it what it is; emotional neglect and physical neglect are sins of omission when it is in one’s power to provide emotional and physical support. If anyone reading this has been emotionally or physically neglected by your father or other family member, may I encourage you to forgive them. Looking back at my father’s life and how he was raised, he chose not to do what had been done to him. Although there was neglect I believe he chose a better path than the example he was raised with. For this I am grateful.