1 John 4:16 (NLT)
16 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.
God's love is thus seen and exerted in Christ Jesus; and thus have we known and believed the love that God hath to us. ~Matthew Henry
As a 17-year-old Anne Graham Lotz, the daughter of Billy and Ruth Graham, was involved in a car accident. Speeding carelessly down a windy mountain road, Anne smashed into her neighbor, Mrs. Pickering. Anne was too afraid to tell her father about the accident, so for the rest of the day she kept avoiding him. When she finally came home, she tried to tiptoe around her dad, but there he was, standing in the kitchen.
Anne tells what happened next:
I paused for what seemed a very long moment frozen in time. Then I ran to him and threw my arms around his neck �. I told him about my wreck�how I'd driven too fast and smashed into the neighbor's car. I told him it wasn't her fault; it was all mine. As I wept on his shoulder, he said four things to me:
"Anne, I knew all along about your wreck. Mrs. Pickering came straight up the mountain and told me�and I was just waiting for you to come and tell me yourself."
"I love you."
"We can fix the car."
"You are going to be a better driver because of this."
Anne says, "Sooner or later, all of us are involved in some kind of wreck�it may be your own fault or someone else's. When the damage is your fault, there's a good chance you'll be confronted by the flashing blue lights of the morality police. But my father gave me a deeper understanding of what it means to experience the loving, forgiving embrace of my heavenly Father." [Adapted from Anne Graham Lotz, Wounded by God's People (Zondervan, 2013), pp. 155-156]
Most of us may feel God is ready to lay out consequences for our actions or punish us for wrongful deeds. We often feel this way because others find fault in us and do not want to forgive the things we have done. God the Father, however, is a loving God who loves us greatly. Just as Billy Graham did with his daghter, The Father is ready to wrap His arms around us in love. There may be consequences to be faced, but there is wisdom to be found in our faults that will make for a better tomorrow.