One Saturday afternoon when I was 16 years old, my dad was grilling hamburgers and needed some things from the store. I had just gotten my license and knowing I would gladly go for him, he gave me his list and said, "Go straight to the store, get the groceries, and then come straight home." Then he said, "By the way, the passenger-side window is broken and off track. Don't open it until I get it fixed."
"Okay, Dad," I said with a kiss and a smile as I headed out the door. And as any good, sixteen-year-old girl would do, I went straight to my best friend's house down the street and picked her up. Being the responsible young lady that I was, I told her to be careful about the window. Well, we drove about one block when we saw a boy we knew walking down the street and wanted to say, "Hi." After all, he was walking and we were driving! We pulled up and I said to my friend, "Roll down the window and say hello!" She responded, "But I thought your dad said not to use the window," Caught up in the moment, I said, "Oh, it will be okay one time. Just do it slowly."
My friend rolled down the window, and we started waving and acting so grown up. We thought we were as cool as could be! Everything was great until my friend tried to raise the window. Suddenly, it was like the world stopped as I watched the window crack and shatter into a million pieces! "Oh, no!" I cried. I would have given anything to turn back the clock at that moment.
I looked at that window and looked at my friend. I said, "You are coming home with me!" I knew I needed her to be my back up as I faced my dad. We drove straight to my house in complete silence. The walk up our driveway wasn't nearly long enough as I tried to figure out how to explain to my dad what had just happened. I slowly walked inside with my friend—the one who wasn't supposed to be with me. My dad was in the kitchen when he turned and saw us. You can imagine the puzzled look on his face. "Dad, I'm so sorry… " I started to say, barely knowing how to explain.
Because I knew my father loved me, I had the confidence to tell him the whole story. The moment I admitted to my dad that I had disobeyed, he forgave me. Of course he was disappointed, but it didn't change his love for me. He didn't hold it over my head or measure my worth by that mistake.
My dad's love that day was an example of our heavenly Father's love. When we come to Him with our mistakes, He embraces us. He forgives us the moment we turn to Him. There may be consequences to our choices, but He always loves us and receives us with open arms. Don't let fear hold you back when you make a mistake. Come boldly into His presence. Confess your faults to Him and let His love renew and restore you.He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities…As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him. (Psalm 103:10,13, NIV)