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DOUG CREAMER COLUMN: Your Father’s love

I remember the day my wife called me and told me about a kitten that had been left in the bushes at her work. It was going to be a very cold night, and what were we going to do about this little kitten? Naturally, we decided to bring her home.

Doug Creamer writes a religion column for the SNAP.

We had an older cat at the time and didn’t really want to put him through the process of adding another family member. But she won and made it into our home. Our beloved older cat has since passed on and is now awaiting our arrival in heaven. For the first few years the new cat was aloof. She “let” you pet her when she wanted to be petted. She was highly independent.

A few years ago something changed. She decided she wanted to be a lap kitty. The change was sudden and a little disconcerting. She would jump into my lap and begin purring. I would commence petting and that would be okay for a few minutes until all of a sudden, she would begin trying to nip me. That didn’t go well. She ended up on the floor.

Over time she has come to enjoy being in my lap for longer periods of time. It still ends suddenly. She also loves it when I take a nap. She wants to snuggle with me. She purrs and seems happy and content. When she decides the petting is over she curls up against my legs.

Over the last couple of months she has been teaching me about our Father’s love. I know that might seem crazy, but stick with me. Sometimes when I sit down she will come along. I know she wants to get in my lap. She circles me over and over again. She looks up at me and I call her. She just keeps walking around me. I call it being in the shark mode.

I have tried to pick her up and she runs away. She comes right back. I call to her and she resists. She will put her front paws up on the chair and survey my lap. I encourage her to come up in my lap, but still she resists. I’ll ignore her. She continues to circle me. I can hear the “Jaws” theme music playing, and then finally she will jump up in my lap. Once there, she is delighted.

This is what I have learned. God wants us to come up in His lap. He wants to pour His great love out on us, but we are stubbornly resistant to God. He calls us to come close and we run away. He tries to pick us up and we wiggle out of His hands. Yet we circle around Him, wanting desperately to get into His lap. We want to receive His unconditional love and affection, but something is holding us back.

Some people grew up without much demonstrative love so it is hard to imagine God wanting to hug them. Some people struggle with guilt and shame, and they have either forgotten or not learned that Jesus took guilt and shame away with our sins on the cross. Some people feel God is too busy with all the crazy things going on in our world. They don’t understand that God is omnipresent. He can be close to me and to someone on the other side of the globe at the exact same time. Still others are facing doubt, fear and worry, and pull away from the agape love of God.

There are many reasons to pull away from God. I want to encourage you to stop. Turn to God and leap into His waiting arms. He has crushed the power of sin, shame and guilt. His perfect love casts out all fear, doubt and worry. He has all the time you want because time doesn’t exist in heaven. Give God the chance to shower His love upon you. Maybe your parents failed to give you a good example of love, but the Bible teaches us that if your parents failed you, God will be your mother and father and He will never fail you.

I want to encourage you to open your heart to the perfect love of God. He does not reject anyone who comes to Him. No sin is too great. No failure puts you out of His reach. Jesus paid the entire price to make you a son or daughter. Accept Jesus’ payment and receive a love beyond anything you can ever imagine. God is calling you to jump into His lap. He is waiting for you so He can pour out His healing love in your heart.

Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or doug@dougcreamer.com