Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. Psalm 23:6
A precious saint tells the story of a shopping excursion downtown with her father. After the purchases had been made, he took her to the soda fountain for a treat. They both enjoyed a delicious chocolate milkshake and then went home.
A while later, the father overheard his small daughter boasting to her brothers about something she’d picked up at the store counter—a wonderful, long-handled spoon that had come with the shake. When the boys ran off to play, Father gently approached his daughter and asked her about the spoon. Was the spoon hers or had she taken it from someone else? After a few more questions, the little girl admitted that she had taken something that didn’t belong to her. To her horror, her father pronounced that she would have to return the spoon to the rightful owner.
The following day, the little girl and her father climbed into the family sedan and headed for the department store and its soda fountain. Not a word was spoken. All the little girl could think of was having to face the manager and admitting her theft. Would the police come and arrest her? Would she have to leave her family and go to jail? By the time the two reached the store, tears were streaming down her cheeks.
Father and daughter returned to the scene of the crime, and then the father picked up the little girl and seated her at the counter. He signaled for the attendant to come—and ordered two more chocolate milkshakes. As the drinks arrived, the father spoke softly into the little girl’s ear, “Now you can put the spoon down on the counter,” and then he gave her a loving smile and a little pat. No recriminations or denunciations, just loving mercy that allowed her to tangibly undo her childish misdemeanor.
Do you wonder that this dear earthly father became the picture of a heavenly Father for the little girl who grew up to be a faithful servant of her Lord? How often do we think that repentance must be bitter and that restoration must be costly?
Actually, mercy and goodness flow freely to us at our repentance because the cost has already been paid.
Father, words are inadequate to express our gratitude for your kind mercy given us freely through Jesus Christ, our Lord. AMEN.