It had been one of those days: Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice at each other's throats like wild dogs, bickering and blaming and outright brawling, and under and around and through it all, Lil' Snip's grating whine - when did he become a whiner?! - insisting that someone hold him, that someone read to him, read to him, read to him, again!, that someone play with him - nooooo, this way!!
I was ready to die. [sorry, I know it's dramatic, but that's the way it was.] Actually - by God's grace alone - I had died, over and over, to my self that day. And as naptime mercifully approached, and I tucked the loudly protesting toddler under my arm and carried him, struggling violently, up to his
I still loved that Lil' Snip. He had been purely intolerable that morning, and somehow I had not only tolerated him, but I still loved that inharmonious, recalcitrant bundle of muscled will. All his discordant belligerence, his complete lack of courtesy and grace had done nothing - nothing - to separate him from my love for him. I was happy to be separated from him for a few hours, it's true, but at my core, my heart still beat love, love, love, love toward him.
And that's God's heart toward me, toward you: nothing, nothing, can separate us from His love. Sin keeps us from intimacy from Him, but even sin does not change His love for us.
When Lil' Snip awoke, cheerful and compliant (actually, his snit lasted a few days, but let's compress that for the sake of brevity), ready again to receive my love, I forgave* him his obstinance and accepted him gladly back into my arms.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine
or nakedness or danger or sword?
For I am convinced that neither death nor life,
neither angels nor demons,
neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,
neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God
that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:35, 38-39
* a difference here is that my toddler does not confess his sin; when we, however, "confess our sins, [God] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:8-10). Needless to say, another difference is that I, unlike God, am powerless to cleanse Lil' Snip from his unrighteousness, much as I would like to be able to!