18 Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression
of the remnant of your possession?
He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in showing clemency.
19 He will again have compassion upon us; he will tread our iniquities under foot.
You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.
20 You will show faithfulness to Jacob and unswerving loyalty to Abraham,
as you have sworn to our ancestors from the days of old.
We are all children of God…and like any good parent, God has compassion and love for us; and although God may not always like how we behave, we are forgiven, and given second, third and fiftieth chances!
Thankfully God does not always give us what we deserve…but instead surrounds us with more grace and love than we could ever earn on our own; and this love never fails…just as our love for our children stays strong despite any struggles, disappointment or heart-break we may experience while raising them!
God has given us forgiveness, and the promise of a new life, free from death and sin, a life of hope and of reconciliation between ourselves and God and with each other. This forgiveness is a great gift, bought for us through great sacrifice, and given purely out of God’s love for us…a sign that this love never falters or fails…and surrounds even though we are not ‘good enough’ to have deserved such a gift.
As single parents, we know about sacrificing for our children. Many of us have given up…or rather…changed our goals and ambitions for life in the face of the reality of raising our children, and the great demands this has placed on our lives. What we once considered to be important to us, has changed, as we have focused more and more on supporting our children and ensuring that they grow up as happy and healthy as possible, and to be there for them when they make choices that may not leave them (or us) happy or healthy…or when the hard times find them through no fault of their own.
My younger self might have questioned why I ‘gave up’ so much to be a single parent…when I could have just walked away when my marriage ended…but my younger self did not know the truth: that nothing I could ever have dreamed of could have come close to the amazing joy of being a parent; and the challenge of being a single parent has helped me to become a better person and discover things about myself that I never would have known if I had simply run away, or had raised her in a more ‘traditional’ setting.
Best of all, is the great bond my daughter and I formed together…a bond of love and compassion that has survived some really rough years, and some less than ‘Christian’ behavior from us both…as distressing events do not always bring out the best in us. Nevertheless, we still remained close, as we were able to forgive each other, as God has forgiven us, and forgiveness is possible because the love we share with our children is stronger than any disappointment or frustration we may feel with each other, as it is based on deep connection of love and compassion that stays with us no matter how far from each other we may feel at times.
So too is God’s love for us: a bond of love and grace, given to us freely, which will never leave behind, no matter how far we may feel from God…or how far God may feel from us; for God is like that perfect parent: loving, compassionate, faithful, and not afraid to let us learn from our mistakes, but always there to support us and guide us…both directly and through others…as we learn and grow together.
Let us pray:
Lord, we thank you for your love, and the new life you have given to us in Christ. Thank your for your forgiveness and faithfulness…and please help us to share these gifts with our children, and with all those around us as we live our lives and continue to grow in faith, love and wisdom, together.