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Unconditional Love Goes Both Ways

by Shakera Reid-Stewart  
6/21/2007 / Devotionals

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 1: 1-20

Have you ever been privy to an argument between a parent and a child about rules and boundaries that the child insists on crossing? It usually begins with the child being rude and disrespectful. Then, the child utters what seems to be a commonly used phrase as he or she yells, "I hate you and I just can't wait to get away from you!" The phrase is said with such disgust, and disdain.

Imagine that this parent has been a nurturing, caring, provider throughout the years. Imagine this guardian as one who has sacrificed and loved unconditionally from one developmental stage to the next. Imagine the countless indiscretions that this parent has had to forgive. Hearing this statement for the first time from that child has got to evoke all kinds of emotions in this parent, and the expression on his or her face tells it all.

If we could translate the nonverbal message, the parent's emotions would go from one of hurt to outrage. I think it would sound something like this:

"I can't believe you said that to me! I want nothing, but the best for you. I've loved you and cared for you all these years. How dare you ever have the nerve to speak to me in that tone? I have looked past all your carelessness, I've cleaned up all your messes, and I have set aside my desires to make you into what you are today. I have made the ultimate sacrifice for you, and this is how you repay me!"

In the same way that this parent feels betrayed, imagine what God feels when He looks down at us here on earth. In the first chapter of the Book of Isaiah, God goes from hurt to outrage. Just as He looked at His people so many years ago, He looks at us in the same way today. He is saying to us "I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me!" In the verses that follow, He charges us to know our place as His children and to act accordingly.

Much like a good parent, God gives us instructions on how to redeem ourselves again in verses 16-19. Unfortunately, like a good parent, if those instructions are not followed, He will not allow the consequences of our actions to go unpunished. (Verse 20) Luckily for us, if we genuinely ask for forgiveness, God will wipe our slate clean.

"God made that ultimate sacrifice for us when He sent His son to die on the cross at Calvary. He cares for us and loves us unconditionally. Like a good parent, doesn't He deserve to see the fruit of His labor and hasn't He earned our sacrifice and unconditional love."

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Shakera Reid was born in Kingston, Jamaica and raised in Miramar, Florida. Her passion in life is counseling and educating youth. Hobbies include reading, writing and watching movies. Her hope is to encourage others through her writing and to help them in their Christian walk.

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