My daughter never liked me much. At least not until recently. Beginning when she was a baby, she would always want Mommy more than Daddy. Her big brother Noah and I had always been tight, but Hannah was making me work for it. I quickly developed a bad case of LE (lactation envy). I was certain that, if I could have a more active role in feeding her, things would change. But I digress.
This post has far more to do with my response than Hannah’s rejection. I never liked it when Hannah ran away from me or reached for Mommy instead. It was painful to hear her cry when I picked her up. However, I never responded to her rejection with rejection – I pursued her.
Woo, woo, woo
I knew Hannah avoided me because she didn’t know me. She didn’t know that I loved her more than any other man ever will. She didn’t know that I made sure she had everything she needed. She didn’t know that my eyes glowed every time I talked about her. She didn’t know … anything. So I showed her.
Little by little her Daddy reservations whittled away. She would let me hold her longer without crying. She would laugh when I tickled her and she even started reaching for me. Just a few weeks ago Stephanie and I picked her up from church. She saw me walk in, screamed “Daddy” with a huge smile on her face, ran past Stephanie and leaped into my arms. She was getting it.
The Father’s pursuit
The Bible says, “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside” (Romans 3:10b-12a ESV). We all respond to God the way Hannah responded to me as a baby. God knew that, left to ourselves, we would never look for Him. Left to ourselves, we would run away from Him, or rebel and fight Him. He knew what we didn’t know.
He knew that He loves us more than the people whose approval we sacrifice to get (Psalm 36:7). He knew that only He could provide us with what we need (Philippians 4:19). He knew that we bear His image, so He treasures us more than the rest of His creation (Genesis 1:26-31). So He pursued us … and He showed us.
Remarkably, He started this even before Jesus defeated Satan, sin and death on the cross, “God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 ESV). So the cross wasn’t when God started pursuing man, the cross was where His pursuit got most personal.
So if you know the God of the Bible, it’s because He pursued you (John 6:44). If you’re wrestling with who He is and whether you really want to follow Jesus, it’s because He is still pursuing you. That is just a glimpse of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
***I’m spending some time at the beginning of my quest as “perfectly fractured” to explain some basic beliefs I hold and the goals of this site. Since perfectly fractured is “thoughts on culture, worldview, the gospel and more . . . but mostly Jesus,” it seems proper to explain why these thoughts are important. To see the first two posts in this series check out Broken Beginnings and Pardon me, your Imago Dei is showing.***