Our daughter, Jill, and her son Drew are visiting us from Oklahoma. They come up here several times a year and we are able to stay in touch with Drew and watch him as he grows. One of the jobs that he loves to help me with is the feeding of the birds – he just loves that. He knows the different foods, including peanuts and sunflower seeds; and what food goes in each feeder. The only thing is, we have moved to our new house now and we haven’t put the feeders in the yard yet. The truth be known, I have been waiting for Drew to get here before deciding where we should put the food for the birds.
In the meantime, I have cleaned and arranged the garage – and located all the various things we bring outside each summer. So I was all set for Drew’s arrival. This evening, Janet and Jill were out attending a school function for one of our other grandchildren. I was on duty watching Drew. So, of course, we headed out into the backyard and looked around trying to determine where we would place the various suet, thistle and sunflower feeders. I think Drew was a little pre-occupied, but I was trying to keep him engaged with the job at hand.
So every time I located a suitable branch, and was about to hang a feeder, I would ask Drew what he thought of my choice. Each time, without exception, his response was exactly the same – he said, “Wow! That’s perfect, Grandpa.” The only problem with this whole thing was that Drew never even looked up from what he was doing! The child is only 4 years old and already he knows how to multi-task. He had no idea whether the placement was good or bad, but it didn’t stop him from providing encouragement to me. And it’s not like he wasn’t interested in our assignment – remember, his favorite thing is feeding the birds. It got to be something of a challenge for me – I was having trouble locating enough good branches, but Drew didn’t care – he kept telling me how perfect my choices were. He completely overlooked the mistakes I made and kept letting me know how excited he was at the things we were doing together.
Does that sound like anybody else to you? How about God? Because, for those of us who believe, God overlooks our mistakes and offers us encouragement and forgiveness. We know that we don’t do everything right – but God doesn’t try to find all the blemishes. He rejoices in our effort and let’s us know that what we tried to do was perfect in His sight. Isn’t that the way our entire world should operate? Less judgment and more encouragement – not only the forgiveness of sin, but the forgetting of our mistakes.
The verse for this evening is from the book of Job. As you may already know, Job’s story had to do with whether he had sinned or not in the eyes of God. His friends were trying to get Job to admit his wrongdoings and in Job 11:4-6, we read, “You say to God, ‘My beliefs are flawless and I am pure in your sight.’ Oh, how I wish that God would speak, that he would open his lips against you and disclose to you the secrets of wisdom, for true wisdom has two sides. Know this: God has even forgotten some of your sin.” Get that last part? God has even forgotten some of our sin.
That’s great for us – affirmation by the Creator of the Universe. My encouragement this evening is that God wants to always provide encouragement to us – and rather than dwell on the things that we do wrong, He would prefer to dwell on the things that we do in accordance with his will for us. My prayer is that you will also be forgiving and that the demonstration of love that God shows to each of us may be manifest in the way we treat others – and it only took a four year old to demonstrate that unconditional love to me this evening. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…